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Vattenfall row continues

Published fredag 13 juli 2007 kl 14.11
Chancellor Merkel has demanded an explanation from Vattenfall

Swedish energy company Vattenfall has agreed to let officials question an employee at a nuclear plant in Germany, where a fire broke out in June.

The company has been embroiled in a heated debate in recent days over their handling of the fire at the Kruemmel power plant near Hamburg.

The blaze came just two hours after an incident at another Vattenfall nuclear plant in Germany. The company initially said the fire at the Kruemmel plant on 28th June had been isolated from the atomic reactor. But the state’s social affairs ministry said the flames had reached a building housing the reactor.

The Swedish company has denied any cover-up but its role in running Germany’s nuclear power plants has become vulnerable in a country deeply divided about whether it should be using nuclear power at all.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel entered the fray this week with a demand that Vattenfall explain exactly what happened at the Kruemmel plant.

Reports also surfaced this week about an incident involving Vattenfall workers at Sweden’s Ringhals nuclear plant, where some staff allegedly got drunk and harassed the cleaning staff. Vattenfall told the Göteborgs-Posten newspaper that the workers were off-duty.

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