Urban: Temelin nuclear plant may be expanded

Trade and Industry Minister Milan Urban said on Thursday that the Czech Republic might expand its Temelin nuclear power plant even though its has yet to bring the station's first two reactors fully online after years of breakdowns and problems. The owner of Temelin and the country's main power producer, the state-controlled company CEZ, is to make a decision on new power sources next year. On Thursday the daily Mlada Fronta Dnes quoted Trade and Industry Minister Milan Urban as saying the expansion of nuclear power is one option to replace at least 60 percent of the four-gigawatt capacity at obsolete coal-burning power plants over the next fifteen years. The south Bohemian nuclear plant has raised many protests in neighbouring Austria because of its combination of Soviet design and Western control systems. The Czechs government says the plant is safe.