Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education



Front Page

World

UK

UK Politics

Business

Sci/Tech

Health

Education

Sport

Entertainment

Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Archive
Feedback
Low Graphics
Help

Thursday, May 13, 1999 Published at 07:42 GMT 08:42 UK


World: Europe

Czechs press on with nuclear plant

The Temelin nuclear plant should have been completed in 1987

By Ray Furlong in Prague

The Czech Government has decided to press ahead with completion of the controversial Temelin nuclear plant in the south of the country.

Temelin is over 10-years late and is way over budget, so the government said costs must not rise any more and it must now be in service by September next year.

It took the Czech Government five hours of discussion, ending in the small hours of the morning, before it arrived at a conclusion.

But even then there was no consensus, with 11 ministers supporting Temelin and eight either against or abstaining.

Spiralling costs

Temelin is a controversial mix of Soviet-era technology with an American-designed safety system tacked on.

But the main criticism of the plant is that its completion date, originally 1987, has been put back several times and the final cost has spiralled.


[ image: President Havel said Temelin was a Tower of Babel]
President Havel said Temelin was a Tower of Babel
Speaking before the cabinet met, President Vaclav Havel said Temelin was a Czech Tower of Babel.

He accused the main investor, CEZ, of consistently lying about when the plant would be ready and how much it would cost.

The government has not ignored this. It said Temelin must now not go over budget again and that it must also be ready by September next year. If not, the Industry Minister, Miroslav Gregr, says he will resign.

Widepsread criticism

But that is unlikely to satisfy opponents of the plant, which is being criticised both domestically and abroad, particularly by the Austrian Government, which is striving for a nuclear-free central Europe.

It is not clear what will happen if the final completion is again delayed or the final cost again goes up.

The environment minister, who has led a strong campaign against Temelin, said he agreed with President Havel that the CEZ company's assurances on price and completion date could not be trusted.



Advanced options | Search tips




Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage |




Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia


Internet Links


Government of the Czech Republic


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.




In this section

Violence greets Clinton visit

Russian forces pound Grozny

EU fraud: a billion dollar bill

Next steps for peace

Cardinal may face loan-shark charges

From Business
Vodafone takeover battle heats up

Trans-Turkish pipeline deal signed

French party seeks new leader

Jube tube debut

Athens riots for Clinton visit

UN envoy discusses Chechnya in Moscow

Solana new Western European Union chief

Moldova's PM-designate withdraws

Chechen government welcomes summit

In pictures: Clinton's violent welcome

Georgia protests over Russian 'attack'

UN chief: No Chechen 'catastrophe'

New arms control treaty for Europe

From Business
Mannesmann fights back

EU fraud -- a billion-dollar bill

New moves in Spain's terror scandal

EU allows labelling of British beef

UN seeks more security in Chechnya

Athens riots for Clinton visit

Russia's media war over Chechnya

Homeless suffer as quake toll rises

Analysis: East-West relations must shift