Czech nuclear power plant reconnected

Workers at the Czech nuclear power plant in Temelin near the border with Austria reconnected the part of the facility to the country's power grid, an official said Thursday. Plant spokesman Vaclav Brom said the plant's second unit was reconnected to the power grid early Thursday, one day after workers restarted its reactor following a four-week shutdown for a repair.

Brom said that tests of the turbogenerator are being carried out at the unit which is currently running at 50 percent of its capacity. It is expected to reach full capacity by the week's end, he said.

The plant's first unit was running at full capacity Thursday, Brom said. Construction of the plant's two 1,000-megawatt units, based on Russian designs, started in the 1980s. The reactors were later upgraded with U.S. technology, but have remained controversial because of frequent malfunctions.

Environmentalists in Austria have demanded that the plant, 60 kilometers (35 miles) north of the Austrian border, be closed, but Czech authorities insist it is safe, reports the AP. I.L.

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