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Armenia, Bulgaria and Britain ‘Have Worst Nuclear Plants In Europe’


VIENNA, Nov 27 (AFP) - Armenia and Bulgaria have the most dangerous nuclear plants in Europe, while Britain houses the worst eight reactors in western Europe, according to an ecological study released here Tuesday.

Armenia's Metsamor nuclear reactor and Bulgaria's Kozlodui plant each had 13 black marks based on security, site, finance and age, in a study by the Austrian Institute for Applied Ecology.

Six Russian nuclear plants, BN-350 in Kazakhstan and Ignalina in Lithuania followed in second and third rankings with 12 and 11 black marks in the study, which aimed to compare nuclear plants in eastern and western Europe.

Britain had the worst ranking of any European Union country, with its Calder Hall, Chapelcross and Bradwell plants totting up 10 marks each and Hinkley Point, Dungeness, Sizewell A, Oldbury and Wylfa close behind with nine. Spain's St Maria de Garona plant also received nine marks.

"Armenia and Kozlodui have to be the most dangerous reactors with 13 black marks, followed by Sosnovy Bor in Russia and BN-350 in Kazakhstan," Antonia Wenisch, who compiled the study, said in a statement. "The reasons are bad siting in locations where there is a danger of earthquakes, lack of money and general security criteria."

"The Austrian Institute for Applied Ecology is an outspoken opponent of atomic energy, because there are socially and ecologically more acceptable ways of producing energy," Wenisch explained.

The Metsamor plant is Armenia's only nuclear reactor and supplies half the country's electricity needs. It was re-started earlier this month after a four-month shutdown for maintenance.
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