Greenpeace protests in front of Italian Embassy over Slovak nuclear plant
Campaigners from the Czech branch of the environmental organisation Greenpeace gathered outside Prague's Italian Embassy on Tuesday. They were there to call on the Italian government to withdraw its participation in the completion of two reactors at Slovakia's controversial Mochovce nuclear power plant.
Like the Czech Republic's Temelin nuclear plant, Mochovce was first drawn up by Czechoslovakia's communist government in the 1970s. The plan envisaged four reactors. Reactors one and two were completed - with added safety systems supplied by the German company Siemens - in the late 1990s. Work on reactors three and four has been suspended since 1992. Greenpeace says it should stay that way, citing safety, technological and economic concerns.
Their objections were contained in a formal letter presented to the Italian embassy on Tuesday.
"As a preliminary remark I can say that Enel is a private company. The stake of the Italian government is around 30 percent. But the remaining shares are floated on the stock market, so it's a completely private company."
Mochovce supplies almost 10 percent of Slovakia's energy needs. The plant's operators point to international studies showing that the improved safety measures mean that Mochovce complies with all international nuclear safety standards. Greenpeace begs to differ, and says if reactors three and four go on line, Mochovce will expose the whole of Central Europe to a substantial nuclear risk.