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Economy Ministry: Mochovce nuclear plant not to be completed

Blocks three and four of the Mochovce nuclear power plant will cost so much to complete that the electricity they generate will never compensate the stae for the outlay, Economy Minister Ľudovít Černák told a news conference on June 22. Černák added that the Economy Ministry would not support the completion of the extra blocks, which have cost 14 billion Slovak crowns to build so far, in its Nuclear Energy Concept. An interest free loan from the EU, he explained, was the only way the plant could be completed as envisioned.

Černák also said that the V1 reactor at Slovakia's only other nuclear power plant in Jaslovské Bohunice, would not likely be shut down until 2010-2012, as premature closure (which is being urged by Austria and the EU) would cost the state 5 to 6 billion crowns.

The final element in the ministry's Nuclear Energy Concept is the building of a permanent disposal facility in Slovakia for spent nuclear fuel, somtheing that became imperative after Russia adopted a law banning the import of nuclear waste. The cost of the project should be about 68 billion crowns, of which the brunt would be borne by the State Fund for the Liquidation of Nuclear Power Equipment.

The government is to discuss an overall plan for the nation's energy sector in September.

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