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Thursday, May 20, 1999 Published at 18:59 GMT 19:59 UK

World: Europe

Nato's nuclear no-fly zone

Nato planes are banned from the plant's airspace

Nato says it is taking steps to avoid flying over a Bulgarian nuclear power station after Greenpeace expressed fears that it might be accidentally hit by a stray alliance or Serb missile.

Nato spokesman Nicholas Fiorenza says under an agreement to use Bulgarian airspace, planes will not be flying over the Kozloduy nuclear plant, 100km (65 miles) inside the Bulgarian border.

His comments came after the director of Greenpeace in Greece, Stelios Psomas, warned if a stray bomb were to hit the plant, the resulting explosion would affect "all of Europe".

Missile misses

At least five Nato missiles and one from Serbia have landed inside Bulgarian territory since the bombing campaign began.

One of them fell on a residential suburb of the capital, Sofia, 60km (40 miles) from the Serb border with Serbia.

But Mr Fiorenza said those responsible for setting bombing targets were taking into account nuclear facilities in Bulgaria, as well as those inside Yugoslavia itself.

Mr Psomas said: "If there is one effect of the war that concerns all of Europe, it is the accidental bombing of Kozloduy."

Danube danger

He also said oil pollution in the Danube, caused by Nato attacks on Yugoslav petrochemical plants, could damage the plant, which uses river water to for its cooling processes.

Bulgaria's Atomic Energy Committee said risks related to the Kosovo conflict had been reduced to a minimum.

The committee's chief, Georgi Kaschiev, said oil booms have been placed in the river to repel slicks from the plant.

He said: " Serious measures have been taken, which make it impossible for any slicks to float into the pumping station which delivers water for the cooling system."

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