Germany has asked the Czech Republic to shut down the Temelin nuclear power plant near the borders of Germany and Austria. Austria became nuke-free in 1978, and German utilities agreed last month to close their 19 nuclear plants within 20 years. The Temelin plant, which began operating last fall, has provoked major protests from local enviros, as well as from Austrians who have blocked border crossing to protest its operation. Germany says it will not use the issue to interfere with the Czech Republic’s entry into the European Union, but Austrian officials have threatened to try to derail the Czech membership over concerns about the plant.