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Austrian Province Can’t Shut Down Nuclear Plant

(CN) - The European Court of Justice ruled that an Austrian province can't sue to close a nuclear power plant in the neighboring Czech Republic.

The Province of Upper Austria claimed that potential radiation from the Temelin Nuclear Plant caused a nuisance and interfered with an agricultural school about 37 miles away.

Europe's high court ruled that the European Atomic Energy Community Treaty, ratified in 1957, governs the dispute.

The Austrian province can't treat the Czech plant differently than it would an Austrian plant, the court explained, because the European Community has basic standards for nuclear plants.

"The Austrian courts, when hearing an action for cessation of nuisance between neighbouring landowners and the Temelin nuclear power plant, must take account of the operating authorisation granted by the Czech authorities," the court said in a statement.

The Temelin plant was checked for safety when the Czech Republic joined the European Union in 2004, the court noted. The plant, which began operating in 2003, is subject to recommendations and monitoring by the European Commission, the court said.

Nuclear power accounts for about 15 percent of energy used in the European Union.

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