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[cdn-nucl-l] Nuclear Watch List
Posted on the Asian Pacific Space Centre web site on November 27, 2001 and
Britain Joins Armenia And Bulgaria On Nuclear Watch List
firing up the neighbours
Vienna (AFP) Nov 27, 2001
Armenia and Bulgaria have the most dangerous nuclear plants in Europe, while
Britain houses the worst eight reactors in western Europe, according to an
ecological study released here Tuesday.
Armenia's Metzamor nuclear reactor and Bulgaria's Kozlodui plant each had 13
black marks based on security, site, finance and age, in a study by the
Austrian Institute for Applied Ecology.
Six Russian nuclear plants, BN-350 in Kazakhstan and Ignalina in Lithuania
followed in second and third rankings with 12 and 11 black marks in the
study, which aimed to compare nuclear plants in eastern and western Europe.
Britain had the worst ranking of any European Union country, with its Calder
Hall, Chapelcross and Bradwell plants totting up 10 marks each and Hinkley
Point, Dungeness, Sizewell A, Oldbury and Wylfa close behind with nine.
Spain's St Maria de Garona plant also received nine marks.
The Czech Republic's controversial Temelin nuclear plant, which has been
plagued by a stream of technical problems and is due to be refired this
week, was among the safest nuclear plants, with just five black marks.
It was only bettered by 10 French nuclear plants, four in Germany and
Britain's Sizewell-B. Sizewell-B and the French Chooz-B and Civaux plants
were ranked safest, with just three marks each.
"Armenia and Kozlodui have to be the most dangerous reactors with 13 black
marks, followed by Sosnovy Bor in Russia and BN-350 in Kazakhstan," Antonia
Wenisch, who compiled the study, said in a statement.
"The reasons are bad siting in locations where there is a danger of
earthquakes, lack of money and general security criteria."
"The Austrian Institute for Applied Ecology is an outspoken opponent of
atomic energy, because there are socially and ecologically more acceptable
ways of producing energy," Wenisch explained.
The troubled Metzamor plant is Armenia's only nuclear reactor and supplies
half the country's electricity needs. It was re-started earlier this month
after a four-month shutdown for maintenance.
The Bulgarian government is negotiating shutting Kozlodui's four oldest
sections with the European Commission, which in 1999 made opening
negotiations on the country's entry into the EU conditional on their closure
Calder Hall is on the same site as Britain's controversial Sellafield
nuclear plant, but Sellafield itself was not listed in the study.
A UN Maritime tribunal in Hamburg, Germany, began hearing a bid by Ireland
to block British plans to expand work at Sellafield last week.
The Austrian Institute for Applied Ecology has been studying the risks of
nuclear plants for 15 years, and published the study to highlight the
dangers of reactors near the Austrian border other than the controversial
"The institute's qualitative study has shown that some of these, for example
Gundremmingen in Germany, are just as dangerous as Temelin, while others,
for example Bohunice in Slovakia, are even more dangerous," Wenisch said.
Meanwhile in Germany a convoy of plutonium has being brought back from
Scotland, where it arrived from on Tuesday at the stocking center in the
central German town of Hanau, an official from the federal office for
protection against radiation said.
It was the second convoy to be repatriated this year from Scotland, with two
more expected before the end of the year.
The plutonium was manufactured in the early 1980s to be used by the Kalkar
power station in the northwest. But the station was never put into service
in the wake of the 1986 Chernobyl accident in Ukraine.
The plutonium was shipped in the 1990s to a stocking center in Dounreay in
Scotland but this center is being closed, which has forced German
authorities to repatriate the radioactive material.