Friday, May 27, 2011

Nuclear Power & Beer

OK, so there are somethings that you just can't say "no" to. When one of my colleagues invited me "to go drink beer at a nuclear power plant", I just had to say "yes". Beer and nuclear power? How could anyone not want to join in the festivities?

The plan was to actually go take a tour of the Dukovany Nuclear Power Station on Friday afternoon and then to visit the Dalešice Brewery, spent the night at a pension and be back in Brno early Saturday. There were about 30 Czechs (OK, a couple of Slovaks) and me. Not quite sure why none of the other foreigners from work came but oh well.

We rented a bus from Brno to Dukovany, about an hour away on the southern Moravia border. Dukovany is the oldest of the two nuclear power plants in this country. The first reactor went into operation in 1985, the second and third units went live in 1986 and the fourth opened in 1987. Bids are in for a fifth reactor and the winner should be announced sometime this year.

There is a visitor's center that anyone can go to. There are a couple of movies (one was in English) and lots of exhibits. Apparently, if you are a Czech citizen and go through a background check then it's possible to even visit the command center. Not an option for this trip.

Then we headed off to what I thought was a tour of the Dalešice Brewery. Much less of a tour and more of a drinking beer and hanging out event.

Apparently, the beer brewing tradition here goes back to the 17th century. The brewery became famous in 1981 when part of the movie Postřižiny (Cutting It Short) was filmed here. I'll have to see if I can find the DVD.

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