News of Radio Prague

Security measures to cost hundreds of millions of CZK

Security measures adopted in the Czech Republic due to fears of terrorist attacks will cost the country hundreds of millions of Czech crowns. If the current level of increased protection of strategic buildings continues, the ministry of finance will have to cut budgets from other ministries to allocate enough money for the police and the army. Police spokeswoman Ivana Zelenakova said the security measures cost about half a million crows per day. Measures adopted after the terrorist attacks on the United States in September include, for example, extra protection for Czech nuclear power stations, the US-funded Radio Free Europe, the US embassy, and the Prague's subway system.

Temelin increases output to 75 % of nominal

The Czech nuclear power station Temelin has increase output to 75 percent of the nominal value in another stage of the start-up process. On Friday, the plant received permission to proceed with tests from the State Office for Nuclear Safety. The power station will now undergo another four stages of hot tests, concluded with a 144-hour run at full operation. Until now, Temelin has completed about a half the 1600 tests planned for the start-up stage. The State Office for Nuclear Safety estimates that the first reactor could switch to the trial operation stage towards the end of this year.

Austrian activists block border again

Meanwhile, opposition to the Czech Temelin nuclear power station has been mounting in Austria, as the Czech Republic is about to conclude the energy chapter of its accession talks with the EU. The leader of the Austrian opposition Green Party, Alexander van der Bellen has called on the government to suspend the closing of the chapter until after the parliamentary elections in the Czech Republic due to take place in the summer of next year. He was reacting to a letter from the EU commissioner for enlargement, Guenter Verheugen, addressed to the Czech and Austrian heads of government, in which he wrote that "all safety concerns have been resolved" and asked the two countries to conclude the process of environmental impact assessment of Temelin as soon as possible.

At the same time, Austrian anti-nuclear activists staged another blockade at the Czech-Austrian border crossing Dolni Dvoriste-Wullowitz on Sunday, demanding that Temelin be closed down.

Suspected terrorist stayed in Prague - press

Mohammed Atta, a key suspect in the September 11 terror attacks in the United States, stayed in the luxury Hilton hotel here in Prague last year for as yet unknown reasons, according to the Saturday edition of the Czech daily newspaper Pravo. U.S. authorities suspect Atta of piloting one of the hijacked jets that hit the twin towers of the New York World Trade Center. Pravo, quoting the national intelligence service, said Atta, an Egyptian, was initially refused entry by officials at Prague airport because he failed to produce the necessary travel documents. However, later he had managed to enter the country with the necessary documents and stayed in a double room in the Hilton hotel for one night before leaving the country by plane. Atta is believed to have had contacts with the Iraqi secret service. Former United Nations chief weapons inspector Richard Butler a few days ago said he suspected that an Iraqi agent might have handed Atta anthrax spores in Prague. However, Baghdad has denied that its secret service had had any contact with Atta.

Czech weather report

And finally, a brief look at the weather. Monday should be rather cloudy with scattered showers, afternoon highs should reach between 12 and 16 degrees Celsius.