Joint U.S., Czech nuclear power research center opens

PRAGUE (AP) — The United States and Czech Republic are increasing cooperation in civilian nuclear energy, opening a joint research center in Prague for nuclear power scientists and engineers from both countries.

About one-third of the Czech Republic's energy comes from nuclear power, and U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said Wednesday that the center would be "a catalyst" in the field.

The center is based at the Czech Technical University in Prague. The U.S. government is contributing $500,000 for the first two years.

Former Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas and President Barack Obama agreed on the project in 2011. The Czech Republic has two nuclear power plants, and U.S.-based Westinghouse Electric Co. and a consortium led by Russia's Atomstroyexport are bidding to build two more reactors.

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