The Czech Republic began activating a nuclear power plant located just 30 miles from the Austrian border yesterday, intensifying a serious diplomatic conflict between the two nations. As they have a number of times over the past month, thousands of Austrians yesterday blocked border crossings into the Czech Republic to protest the commissioning of the Temelin nuclear plant. Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel wrote on Sunday to Czech Prime Minister Milos Zeman asking him to postpone activation of the plant until all safety concerns have been resolved and threatening to interfere with the Czech Republic’s efforts to join the European Union. Czech officials insist that the plant is safe. Austrians, who voted in 1978 to ban all nuclear power from their nation, don’t believe it. The environment ministry of nearby Germany has also said that the Temelin plant does not meet their standards.