Ukraine nuclear plant OK

A nuclear reactor in western Ukraine shut down automatically when sensors indicated a malfunction in a pump in its cooling system, officials said Tuesday.

There was no increase in radiation levels at the troublesome reactor No. 2 in the Khmelnitsky nuclear power plant, according to a statement from the state-run Energoatom nuclear operator. The faulty pump's valves were shut down manually, the statement said.

The No. 2 reactor at Khmelnitsky has experienced a series of automatic shutdowns since its launch last August.

Ukraine was the site of the world's worst nuclear accident, when a reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear plant exploded and caught fire in 1986. The blast and fire spewed radiation over much of the then-Soviet Union and northern Europe. Chernobyl was closed down in 2000, AP reminds.

Ukraine continues to operate 15 nuclear reactors, and says it is committed to modernizing all of them.

Ukraine is also considering converting some Ukrainian reactors to the use of low-enriched uranium. Such a conversion would lower the risk of accidents and possible transfer of nuclear components to terrorists, officials say.

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