Russian nuclear reactor shut after pump failure

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A reactor at a nuclear power plant near Saint Petersburg was shut down on Wednesday because of a technical fault, the plant's management said.

Reactor No 4 at Leningrad Nuclear Power Plant was shut down at 4.25 am (0025 GMT) because of a broken circulation pump, according to a statement.

Radioactivity in the surrounding area is within permitted levels, said the statement.

The shutdown means only two of the four reactors at the plant are now in operation. Reactor No 1 was stopped at the start of the month for planned repair work.

Situated in the town of Sosnovy Bor, 70 kilometres (45 miles) from Saint Petersburg, Leningrad Nuclear Power Plant (which still uses the Soviet name for Saint Petersburg) has the same type of reactors as those used at Chernobyl.

On April 26, 1986, an explosion in Reactor No 4 at the Ukrainian facility caused the worst disaster in civilian nuclear history.

© 2010 AFP

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