Reactor at Swedish plant shut down after explosives scare

May 23rd, 2008 - 1:17 am ICT by admin  

Stockholm, May 22 (DPA) Swedish police and prosecutors Thursday continued questioning two men arrested the day before on suspicion of planning sabotage at the Oskarshamn nuclear power plant. Police spokesman Sven-Erik Karlsson said a decision was pending if the men were to remain in custody.

He said the two men had declined an offer to have a lawyer present during questioning, and were held on the lower degree of suspicion.

The two were hired by a sub-contractor conducting routine maintenance work on one of the plant’s three reactors. A search of their rooms near the plant and their homes in the Swedish city of Norrkoping has not resulted in any further finds.

The two men were arrested Wednesday after traces of an explosive were detected during a spot security check of a bag carried by one of the men, a welder, as he tried to enter the plant, plant spokesmen and police said.

The Swedish National Laboratory of Forensic Science was to test the remains of a bag for possible traces of an explosive.

A search of the building that housed reactor number two, which was not online over the ongoing maintenance work, has been completed but nothing suspicious has turned up, Karlsson said.

Reactor one was shut down overnight so police could search the premises after it had cooled down, Oskarshamn plant chief executive Lars Thuring said.

The move was “precautionary” since the two men had security clearance to enter the area near that reactor building too, Thuring added.

The plant in south-eastern Sweden, operated by the energy groups E.ON of Germany and Finland’s Fortum, produces about 10 percent of Sweden’s electricity.

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