Crimea crisis calls Czech-Russia nuclear plant expansion into doubt

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In the wake of Russia moving military forces into the Crimea region of Ukraine, Czech officials are questioning whether Russian contracts to expand a Czech nuclear power plant should move forward.

Czech Republic Defense Minister Martin Stropnicky said Russia has "disappeared from the group of predictable, democratic countries," and said the events in Crimea are "unacceptable."

Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka responded to the minister's statement with one of his own, telling media outlets there is "no reason" for the Czech government to cut business ties with Russia despite its official condemnations of the federation's actions.

According to Reuters, a nuclear energy consortium that includes Russia's Atomstroyexport is bidding on a $10 billion contract to expand the Czech Republic's Temelin Nuclear Power Station near the Austrian border.

The power plant currently has two nuclear reactors, which have a power generation capacity 1,015 MW each. Construction on the plant began in 1987, and the then-communist government destroyed six villages to make way for the power plant.

The plant was originally supposed to have four operating reactors, but the 1990 Velvet Revolution caused the then-Czechoslovakian government to cancel plans for unit Nos. 3 and 4.

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