Slovakia will not relaunch old nuclear reactor

Slovakia has decided not to relaunch its Soviet-type nuclear reactor, the country's economy minister said. The two-week gas dispute between Russia and Ukraine made Slovakia consider reactivating the reactor, shut down since 2004.


AFP - Slovak Economy Minister Lubomir Jahnatek said Friday the country would cancel both a state of energy emergency and a decision to relaunch its Soviet-type nuclear reactor.

"The reasons for relaunching of the nuclear reactor in Jaslovske Bohunice are not relevant any more," Jahnatek told a press conference.

"We decided to cancel the state of emergency effective today as of 2.00 pm," as gas deliveries from Russia through Ukraine have been stabilised, he added.

A two-week financial dispute between Russia and Ukraine, a key transit route for Russian gas, had interrupted gas deliveries to much of Europe earlier this month at a time of bitter cold weather.

In response, Slovakia started preparatory work to relaunch the Soviet-era reactor, shut down as part of the deal that saw the country join the European Union in 2004.

Slovakia depends on Russia for 98 percent of its natural gas imports, which pass through Ukraine.

The country, cut off from Russian deliveries on January 7, declared a state of energy emergency to economise on gas.

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