Romanian Nuclear Authority Denies Leak : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Bucharest - Wed. 29 Mar. 2000


Romanian Nuclear Authority Denies Leak From Bulgarian Reactor

BUCHAREST, Mar 25, 2000 -- (Agence France Presse) Romania's nuclear authorities denied Friday that the country had been polluted by radioactivity from the Kozloduy plant in Bulgaria although it admitted minor leaks had taken place in recent years.

"Since 1974, when the radioactivity monitoring station in Bechet was set up, we have never recorded levels of radioactivity above permitted levels," declared the country's nuclear commission chief, Dan Cutoiu.

Authorities in Bulgaria and Romania have rushed to dampen public fears that the power plant might be causing genetic deformities around the border region following a Romanian television report on Wednesday.

The report claimed that thousands of Romanians in the south of the country have suffered cancer in recent years, while babies and animals were being born with inexplicably high levels of physical deformities.

Bulgaria denied Thursday that radioactivity had leaked from the 25-year-old plant, which still produces 40 percent of the country's electricity despite EU insistence that four of Kozloduy's reactors be dismantled before Sofia begins talks to join the union.

Though he denied that any catastrophic leak had occurred, Cutoiu admitted that the danger of a "serious accident" in Kozloduy was still present.

His comments was echoed by sources at the heart of the nuclear commission, who told AFP the plant had had a number of minor leaks in the last few years, including one in 1998 that apparently led to a rise in radioactivity after a problem in one of the reactor tubes.

Bulgarian authorities have denied the existence of any leaks throughout the plant's operational history. ((c) 2000 Agence France Presse)

-- Martin Thompson (, March 28, 2000

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