Swedish nuclear reactor shut down after water leak

A water leak forced the shutdown of one of four reactors at Sweden's largest nuclear power plant, officials said Friday.

The stoppage of reactor 2 at the Ringhals plant was the latest in a string of shutdowns due to safety concerns and malfunctions that have plagued Sweden's nuclear power facilities in recent months.

The latest shutdown was due to a small water leak inside the reactor, Ringhals spokesman Lars Eliasson said, adding the incident posed no danger to staff.

A spate of malfunctions in the past year have stirred debate about safety controls at Sweden's atomic power plants.

The Chief Executive of the Forsmark plant, 100 kilometers (60 miles) north of Stockholm, resigned last week amid criticism that the leadership had neglected safety issues.

The Ringhals plant, about 500 kilometers (300 miles) southwest of Stockholm, has also experienced problems, including in November, when a transformer fire caused a temporary shutdown of one reactor.

Sweden's nuclear power plants provide half of its electricity. The country has decided to phase them out over coming decades, but so far only two of the 12 reactors have been closed.

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