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Slovakia plans to build a new nuclear reactor

BRATISLAVA, Slovakia — (AP) — Slovakia’s government approved a plan on Wednesday to build another nuclear reactor in a country that relies heavily on nuclear electricity generation.

The new reactor, with an expected output of 1,200 megawatts, is to be built at the Jaslovske Bohunice nuclear plant, where the utility Slovenske Elektrarne currently operates two nuclear units.

The government said its ministers of finance and economy would work out the details by the end of October. Economy Minister Denisa Sakova previously said that Russian energy giant Rosatom would not be allowed to participate in a possible tender to build the unit.

Slovakia’s government is led by populist Prime Minister Robert Fico, whose leftist Smer party won a general election in September on a pro-Russian and anti-American platform.

Slovakia generates over 50% of its electricity at two nuclear plants.

The decision reflects recent nuclear expansion in Central and Eastern Europe. The neighboring Czech Republic is currently seeking to build up to four nuclear reactors. French state nuclear giant EDF and Korea's KHNP are the two contenders bidding for the project. Poland struck a deal with Westinghouse to build its first nuclear power plant, while Rosatom is set to build Hungary's fifth and sixth reactors.

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