Temelin high on the agenda again
The BBC reported on Friday that the German government had approved a statement, calling on Prague to shut down the controversial Temelin nuclear power plant in South Bohemia. The report has caused a minor storm of controversy, although the Czech cabinet was still waiting on Monday morning for the official statement to arrive from Berlin. But if it is confirmed, what does it mean for the troubled plant? Lucie Krupickova has the story:
Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla announced at the weekend that the Czech cabinet would not be taking any action before it received the official report from the German government. But does Germany have the right to intervene in this manner? Vaclav Zak is the editor in chief of the bi-monthly Listy:
"I must say I am really astonished by this development because the German government was much more reasonable than Austrian one. On the German side there is a company which takes care about the reliability and security of the German nuclear power station and this company got all information about Temelin. The report that was produced by this company confirmed that Temelin is safe. So I think that this development must be connected somehow to the recent decision of the German government to stop their own nuclear power station. I think it is more political than normal decision of the German government."
Czech diplomats are reported to admit that a number of Germany's complaints over Temelin's safety are legitimate. The Czech government is to hold a meeting on the controversial power plant on Tuesday. Politicians said they would discuss the Melk agreement signed by the Czech and the Austrian Prime Ministers last December.
Temelin has suffered numerous technical problems since going into test operation and is currently shut for repairs on a turbine. So should the Czech Republic take protests against launching the power plant more seriously? Commentator Vaclav Zak again:
"Well, you know, Melnik power station had one-year difficulties with its turbine and this turbine has twice less power than Temelin turbine. So I think that we can really expect that there will be problem in bringing Temelin to normal running stage but there's no problem with the atomic power generator. There are problems with the secondary non-atomic circuits. So I don't see any danger in Temelin. In fact, Temelin, after it will run, these protests will stop. You could see in many cases that is really the people do not want to have new atomic power station but after it is running, the protests will fade away, I am convinced about it."
That was political commentator Vaclav Zak. But for now all that the Czech government can do is to wait for the official statement from the German government.