Starting weeklong Europe trip, Clinton pushes US bid for $10 billion Czech nuclear project

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is lobbying the Czech Republic to approve an American bid for a $10 billion expansion of a nuclear power plant, even as a rival Russian offer seems to be the favorite.

Clinton is making her pitch for the American energy giant Westinghouse Electric Co. in scheduled meetings with senior Czech officials in Prague.

She is stressing the need for the Czech Republic to wean itself off of a dependency on Russia for fuel.

The Czechs get 60 percent of their oil, 70 percent of their natural gas and all of their nuclear reactor fuel from Russia.

That leaves the NATO member highly susceptible to economic and political pressure from Moscow.