Czechs want more from uranium mine in nuclear push

By the Associated Press | July 19, 2012 | 11:36 AM EDT

PRAGUE (AP) — The Czech government has approved extending the life of a uranium mine as it moves to grow the country's nuclear energy program, even though environmentalists object to the plans.

Prime Minister Petr Necas also said Thursday the government wants to identify other suitable locations for uranium mining.

The mine in Rozna, around 160 kilometers (100 miles) southeast of Prague, produced some 224 metric tons of uranium last year and is the only such mine in Central Europe.

Romania is the only other country that operates a uranium mine in the European Union.

Last year's disaster at Japan's Fukushima plant led some nations to shelve their nuclear plans. But the Czech Republic is taking the opposite tack, and hopes to raise its number of reactors from six to at least eight.