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Czech Republic: Prague, Vienna Reach Accord On Temelin

Melk, Austria, 13 December 2000 (RFE/RL) - Czech and Austrian leaders have agreed on an accord to defuse their row over a Czech nuclear power plant near the Austrian border. Under the deal, the Czechs agreed to new safety and environmental studies of the Temelin nuclear plant. A new early-warning system is also to be installed at the facility. The accord was reached by Czech Prime Minister Milos Zeman and Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel after nearly seven hours of talks yesterday.

The talks in Melk, Austria were mediated by the European Union's enlargement chief, Guenter Verheugen. The accord says commercial operations at the plant will not start until the new security and environmental reviews are completed. It also calls for an end to blockades along the Czech border by Austrian anti-nuclear activists. Austrian officials had warned they could stall Czech entry into the European Union unless its concerns over the plant just 60 kilometers from the Austrian border were addressed.