Letter: Slovakia's reactor

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Regarding your article "Slovaks defy nuclear fears" (26 May) on the current dispute between my country and Austria on the Slovak nuclear power plant in Mochovce, I am fully aware that advocating nuclear energy use after the Chernobyl disaster is a tricky business. Let me nevertheless have an honest try.

Your article mentions "Soviet-designed plant". The nuclear power plant in Mochovce was built by Russian, Czech, Slovak, German, French, US and British contractors.

You quote the negative assessment by the Austrian physicist Wolfgang Kromp who - solely as a gesture of the Slovak government's goodwill - was together with his team invited to visit Mochovce, but the only authoritative body, the International Atomic Energy Agency, has not questioned the security standards of the plant.

Your article mentions a "Chernobyl-style leak". Mochovce nuclear reactor is a WER type, which is based on an entirely different concept from the RBMK reactor used in the infamous Ukrainian plant. It is technically impossible that the WER type of reactor will "melt down" in an emergency as the Chernobyl reactor did.

IGOR SLOBODNIK

Ambassador

Embassy of Slovakia

London W8

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