Chernobyl's Only Working Reactor Halted by Malfunction Days Before Final Closure : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Dec 6, 2000 - 08:10 AM

Chernobyl's Only Working Reactor Halted Days Before Final Closure The Associated Press

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) - A malfunction forced the only working reactor at Ukraine's Chernobyl nuclear power plant to be shut down Wednesday, nine days before the plant is to be closed for good. The No. 3 reactor was halted by a safety system after some fumes were registered in the reactor's forced circulation department, and workers were cooling the reactor to determine the source, the Chernobyl press service said.

Radiation levels at the plant were reported to be normal.

It was the second shutdown in two weeks at Chernobyl. The reactor was halted Nov. 27 after an ice-covered power line snapped, causing a short-circuit.

Chernobyl was the site of the world's worst nuclear catastrophe in 1986, when its No. 4 reactor exploded and caught fire, sending a radioactive cloud over much of Europe. Under intense international pressure, Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma has agreed to close the plant for good Dec. 15.

Ukraine, one of world's biggest energy consumers, operates five nuclear power plants with 14 atomic reactors. Nine of the reactors are currently working.

About 20 environmental activists demonstrated outside the Kiev office of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development to protest the construction of two nuclear reactors at existing atomic power plants. The new reactors are meant to compensate for the energy that will be lost after Chernobyl is closed. The EBRD has helped fund the project.

"Save energy! Don't build new Chernobyls!" read one of the protesters' banners.

-- Carl Jenkins (, December 06, 2000

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