Anti-Temelin protestors demonstrate in Austria, Germany, Poland
Anti-nuclear protestors held demonstrations and blocked border crossings and railway lines in Austria, Germany and Poland this weekend, in protest at the Czech Republic's Temelin nuclear power plant. The latest wave of protests began on Friday, when Austrian anti-nuclear activists blockaded the Wullowitz-Dolni Dvoriste border crossing for several hours, the first such blockade this year. On Saturday some 3,000 German protestors attended a demonstration against Temelin at the Philippsreut-Strazny border crossing, the biggest to take place at the crossing so far. And on Sunday demonstrators in Poland blocked railways to the Baltic seaport of Szczecin, to protest against planned shipments of nuclear fuel through Poland to Temelin. About 40 Polish activists and Greenpeace members from Austria and Germany also put flags with nuclear warning signs on navigation buoys in Szczecin harbour. The protest followed last weekend's shipment of U.S.-made nuclear fuel, which reached Temelin after being carried by rail through western Poland.
Opponents say Temelin unsafe, operators say teething problems normal
Opponents are calling on the Czech Republic to shut down Temelin, because they say its mixture of Soviet design and Western technology is unsafe. Temelin has suffered numerous problems since the first of its two reactors was brought online for testing in October. The plant's operators, the state-owned energy utility CEZ, say problems are normal in any testing period. A recent Czech-led independent commission, which included observers from the European Union, Austria and Germany, gave Temelin high marks in an environmental impact study.