Temelin back on line

The Temelin nuclear power plant in South Bohemia has recommenced test operations. Temelin was shut down last month following the discovery of cracks on steam pipes in the non-nuclear part of the station. The shutdown means that a full trial operation of the plant, which was due to take place in May, will be delayed by one month. The issue of the Temelin nuclear power plant has severely strained relations between the Czech Republic and neighbouring Austria, which is a nuclear-free country. Following blockades of Czech-Austrian border crossings by Austrian environmentalists last autumn, the Czech government agreed to carry out an environmental impact study at the plant, before it begins commercial operations. The shutdown of the plant has further heightened concerns in Austria over safety standards at Temelin, and environmentalists are planning fresh demonstrations to protest against the plant.