Kruemmel power plant

Criticism of Vattenfall in Germany

The Swedish energy giant Vattenfall has defended itself against criticism of its handling of a fire last week at a German nuclear power plant.

The fire at the Kruemmel power plant near Hamburg led to problems at the plant’s nuclear reactor, according to the state Social Affairs Ministry. Responding to accusations that the company had not made public the full extent of the blaze, a spokesperson for Vattenfall claimed the public and the authorities were fully informed from the very beginning.

The environmentalist Green Party in Germany has demanded that Vattenfall lose its licence to operate nuclear power plants there. They note that there had been past incidents at other nuclear plants operated by Vattenfall, including Forsmark in Sweden, where an electricity failure in 2006 led to the immediate shutdown of a nuclear reactor.

Friends of the Earth have also demanded Vattenfall offer ”full transparency in the investigation of the causes of the fire and possible dangers”.

Local police reported last week that the fire had been isolated from the atomic reactor. But experts investigating the incident found what they described as evidence of damage related to the fire.

On Thursday, Vattenfall announced their support for a major research program into wave power energy at Sweden’s Uppsala University.

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