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Severity of Nuclear Incident Downplayed

Published måndag 28 augusti 2006 kl 11.28
The Forsmark power station, north of Stockholm

Sweden’s nuclear inspection agency has played down claims that a reactor malfunction last month was the most serious incident ever at this country’s nuclear plants.

Two back-up generators failed during a power failure at the Forsmark nuclear power station in July, which led authorities to shut down four of Sweden’s 10 reactors. They are still closed, while investigators make sure that similar errors cannot happen again.

Some experts have said the incident was the most serious ever here, and worse than the authorities originally realized.

However, the Swedish Nuclear Power Inspectorate has dismissed such claims. The incident has been listed as a category 2 on an international nuclear event scale, where 7 is the most serious. According to an inspectorate spokesman, a category 2 event happens on the average once every two years in Sweden.

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