First nuclear reactor closed

THE FIRST reactor of the nuclear power plant at Jaslovské Bohunice in Western Slovakia was definitively closed on the last day of 2006. The second bloc should be closed in the course of 2008.

The closure was part of a commitment made by the previous Slovak government of Mikuláš Dzurinda during Slovakia's accession talks with the EU, when it was agreed to shut down the 1970s-built Soviet style reactors due to safety concerns.

However, the closure will mean that Slovakia must import energy to satisfy its needs. According to current Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico, the agreement of the former government to the EU-entry terms was "energy treason", the Sme daily wrote.

Fico suggested, however, that both reactor blocs could in the future again start producing energy, provided the international situation allowed it. In his opinion, both blocs are still in excellent technical condition.

"We believe that thea time may come when they will again produce electrical energy for Slovakia," Fico said.

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