A nuclear reactor was shut down in southern Ukraine early Tuesday for emergency repair work to fix a defect, officials said, "International Herald Tribune" reported.

There was no increase in radiation levels, the state-run nuclear operator Energoatom said.

The cause of the shutdown was the malfunction of a pipe that helps cool the second reactor, said Yulia Shayda, Energoatom spokeswoman. The Southern-Ukraine nuclear power plant, in the Mykolayvsky region, has two other reactors: one is operating, and another is undergoing planned repairs.

Ukraine was the site of the world's worst nuclear accident when a reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear plant exploded and caught fire in April 1986, spewing radiation over the western part of the Soviet Union and northern Europe. Chernobyl was closed down in 2000. Ukraine has 15 working nuclear reactors; officials said 12 are in operation now.


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