Austrian nuclear demonstrators block Czech border at Wullowitz

Austrian anti-nuclear activists held fresh blockades of the Czech-Austrian border on Friday, closing down one of the most important border crossings with the Czech Republic. Austrian police stood by while hundreds of demonstrators stopped traffic at the Wullowitz border crossing, the first blockade to take place this year. The activists want the Czech Republic to shut down the Temelin nuclear power station, located several dozen kilometres from the Austrian border, 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. Last year saw a series of blockades by anti-nuclear activists. The local authorities refused to call the police to end them, saying Austrians had the right to protest against Temelin.

3,000 demonstrate on Czech-German border

Meanwhile some 3,000 German protestors attended a demonstration against Temelin on Saturday, at the Philippsreut-Strazny border crossing. They did not prevent traffic from crossing the border, but the demonstration was the biggest to take place at the crossing so far. A special commission is currently reviewing the plant's impact on the environment, as part of an agreement between the Czech and Austrian governments signed in the Austrian town of Melk. A report is due in June, when Temelin was originally meant to go into full operation.