EASTERN EUROPE'S SOVIETdesigned nuclear power plants received worldwide press attention in 1989-1990, as full disclosure of the precarious state of older plants in Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, and East Germany became possible. With Western support, nuclear-industry experts assessing the condition and safety of the region's facilities discovered design flaws, poor maintenance, and demoralized staff at many plants. Numerous reports recommended immediate closure of the oldest reactors and early decommissioning for many others.

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