Source AP ©

Nuclear reactor in Romania switched off

A nuclear reactor in Romania was automatically switched off Wednesday, as it began to produce radioactive material.

There was no danger to workers or to people living near the Cernavoda nuclear plant in eastern Romania, National Nuclear Electric Company spokeswoman Mihaela Stiopol said, adding that the environment also was not threatened.

The reactor automatically turned off at about 11 a.m. (0800GMT) for safety reasons after it began internally producing radioactive material, she said. The announcement was made several hours later.

Technicians were working to fix the problem, and expected to switch the reactor back on within some 40 hours, she said. The reactor provides some 12 percent of Romania's electricity.

The nuclear plant, which houses two reactors, is some 150 kilometers (90 miles) east of Bucharest.

The second reactor went online in May, after being built under a contract with the Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. and ANSALDO-Italia. The first reactor began working 10 years ago.