Spain fines Asco I nuclear plant 15.4 mln euros

MADRID Mon May 11, 2009 2:18pm EDT

MADRID May 11 (Reuters) - Spain's government said on Monday it has fined the operators of the 1,000 megawatt Asco I nuclear plant 15.4 million euros ($20.95 million) for six charges of breaching safety rules over a radioactive leak in November 2007.

The fine was the highest to be made against a Spanish nuclear plant to date, the government said.

The leak at the Endesa (ELE.MC)-owned plant in the north eastern port of Tarragona occurred when radioactive water splashed a ventilation system during refueling.

Officials did not inform the nuclear watchdog (CSN) until April 4, which the watchdog said was a serious breach for "not providing the resident inspector with prompt and truthful information." See [ID: nLI95007]

The leak did not cause any personal or environmental damage though CSN said plant managers did not raise the alert in time or protect its employees sufficiently.

($1=.7349 Euro) (Reporting by Clara Vilar; Writing by Paul Day; Editing by Christian Wiessner)

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