Europe Unplugged


ROME 9.28.2003: The Colosseum at dawn after a blackout

Last Monday morning — a scorcher in Greece — was a bad day at the Lavrion power station. First, a valve linked to unit 2 of the plant, 80 km southeast of Athens, was found to be leaking. Technicians repaired it within a few hours, but then found that one of three transmission pipes feeding water into the station's boilers was steaming up and ready to burst. Its automatic shutdown system kicked in, causing all four units of the power station to halt. That took about 1,200 MW from the country's grid and brought electrical reserves to a dangerously low level....

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