Germany calls for talks with Czechs on Temelin safety concerns

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The German government said on Tuesday that it wanted talks with the Czech Republic over safety issues at the controversial Temelin nuclear power plant. The German government released a fresh statement on Tuesday, toning down an earlier unofficial statement which had called on Prague to shut down Temelin altogther. Germany is now saying it has a number of technical reservations towards safety at the plant. Berlin reiterated that it was the Czech Republic's sovereign right to choose nuclear power, but that Germany's proximity to the plant gave it the right to make its voice heard. Germany also reassured Prague that it would not seek to link the Temelin issue with the country's bid to join the European Union. Temelin, situated around 60 km from the German and Austrian borders, has provoked anger in both Berlin and Vienna, with environmental activists and some senior officials saying its mixture of Soviet design and Western operating technology poses a risk to safety.