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Slovenian nuclear incident prompts EU-wide alert

Latest update : 2008-06-05

A failure in the cooling system at the Krsko nuclear power plant on Wednesday triggered a radiation warning throughout Europe. The Slovenian authorities later said that no radiation leak to the environment had occurred. (Story: C. Casali)

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's only nuclear plant, which was shut down on Wednesday because of a water leak, is expected to start operating again next week, a spokeswoman for the plant told Reuters on Thursday.

"From what we can see now the plant may restart on Tuesday or Wednesday," Ida Novak Jerele told Reuters in a telephone interview.

"We located the valve that was leaking and there is no danger because the plant was safely shut down," she added.

Economy Minister Andrej Vizjak told a news conference Thursday that the leakage occurred on a valve that was a part of a system that measures the water temperature, adding that the leaked water was caught in appropriate containers.

"This was an entirely non-dangerous event for people, employees, environment, nature," Vizjak said.
Andrej Stritar, the head of the Slovenian Nuclear Safety Administration, said some 10 to 15 cubic metres of water had leaked from a cooling system that held a total of 150 cubic metres.

"The level of water did not fall as water was constantly being added to the system," Stritar told a news conference in Ljubljana, adding there was no danger to the environment.

The plant, situated in southeastern Slovenia near the border with Croatia, is jointly owned by the two countries. It started operating in 1983 and is scheduled to close in 2023. The plant was built in cooperation with Westinghouse Electric Corporation.

Date created : 2008-06-05