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Friday, January 23, 2009

Slovakia Gives up on Restarting Nuclear Reactor

After its supplies of Russian natural gas have been restored, Slovakia has given up on its efforts to restart the nuclear reactor at the Jaslovke Bohunice power plant, the BGNES news agency reported Friday citing the Slovak Ministry of Economy.

Slovakia's Economy Minister Ľubomír Jahnátek is quoted as saying that the country no longer had the grounds for turning on the reactor as now its Russian natural gas supplies through the Ukraine had been stabilized.

On January 10, the Slovak government declared the beginning of the technical procedure to restart the Soviet-made reactor as the country was in a severe energy crisis caused by the cutoff of Russian gas because of the Russia-Ukraine pricing dispute.

The stopping of the reactor was one of the conditions placed on Slovakia when it joined the European Union. The power plant that was opened in 1970 did not meet the official EU regulations according to technical experts. The first block was shut down towards the end of 2006, while the second was closed as recently as December 31, 2008.

The European Commission threatened Slovakia with sanctions in case it restarted the Bohunice reactor.

Meanwhile, Bulgaria's Parliament voted Friday morning to authorize the government to conduct talks with the Commission on the potential reboot of Units 3 and 4 of the Kozloduy NPP. The Bulgarian MPs decided that even though the Russian gas supplies were restored, the country should be entitled to turn on the two Soviet-made 440 MW reactors as a compensation for its losses from the gas shortage crisis as well as from the global financial crisis.

(Source: Novinite)

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