News of Radio Prague

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Temelin gets green light for loading of fuel at reactor No 2

The State Office for Nuclear Safety (SUJB) gave the go-ahead on Monday for the loading of fuel into reactor No. 2 of the Czech Republic's Temelin nuclear power plant. Temelin's spokesman said the twin-reactor plant could be fully operational in less than 10 months' time. He said technicians had started preparing to fuel the second reactor immediately after permission was granted. Temelin's first reactor was launched in October 2000, in spite of protests from neighbouring Austria and Germany. The plant's opponents say Temelin's mixture of Soviet-era design and Western operating technology poses a risk to safety; the Czech government insists the plant is safe.

Tvrdik: Czechs to send field hospital to Kabul

Defence Minister Jaroslav Tvrdik has said the Czech Republic is planning to send an army field hospital to Afghanistan, to support the U.S.-led military operation in the country. Mr Tvrdik said he expected the field hospital to be deployed in the Afghan capital Kabul this month or early April. The unit of 120 men and women, about one third of whom are medical staff, is ready to go to Afghanistan but must wait for permission from the British Army. The Czech Republic has already sent an anti-chemical warfare unit with about 350 personnel to Kuwait, to support the U.S.-led military campaign in the region.

Kavan: up to seven countries could join NATO at Prague summit

The Czech Foreign Minister Jan Kavan has said up to seven countries could be invited to join NATO when the alliance holds its summit in Prague later this year. Speaking after meeting with his Romanian counterpart Mircea Geoana, Mr Kavan said Romania and six other candidates could be invited to join the Alliance at the Prague summit. A total of nine countries in Central and South-Eastern Europe have applied to join NATO. The Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland became the first post-Communist countries to join the alliance in March 1999.

Austrian police detain 25 refugees who crossed Czech border illegally

Police in Austria detained around 25 people over the weekend after they entered the country illegally from the Czech Republic. Police detained a group of eighteen Armenian citizens near the Austrian town of Gmund, and a separate group of five Ukrainians and two Indians near the village of Falkenstein. All 25 have applied for asylum in Austria.

Hunt chairman shot dead by colleague aiming at wild boar

The head of a local hunting association was accidentally shot dead by one of his colleagues on Sunday during a hunt near the South Moravian town of Zlin. Police say a group of 10 hunters had formed a "U" shape around a wild boar and were closing in on the animal when one of the men opened fire with a shotgun, hitting his 61-year-old colleague in the chest. The man died before he could be taken to hospital. Hunting is a popular pastime in the Czech Republic, although there have been calls in recent years for stricter legislation to prevent such accidents.

Weather

And finally a look at the weather. After a misty start, Tuesday will be a bright and mostly sunny day, with temperatures ranging between eight and twelve degrees Celsius.