German court forbids longer running times for oldest nukes

27 march 2009

(by Diet Simon)

Good news from the highest administrative court in Germany: The country’s two oldest nuclear power stations are not allowed to extend their operation. Anti-nuclear groups are likely to rejoice.

This decision makes it even more likely that all nuclear power stations in Germany will stop operation in a bit more than a decade, as in the corresponding law.

The ruling by the Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig concerns the power stations at Brunsbüttel, about 90 kms from Hamburg at the mouth of the Elbe River, and Biblis A, about 60 kms from Frankfurt. Hamburg is Germany’s second-largest city with about 1.7 million people, Frankfurt its fourth-largest with 650,000.

Block A in Biblis was the first nuclear power plant in the then West Germany, starting operation in 1961. Brunsbüttel started up in 1976.

Both nukes have a history of mishaps, including near-meltdown at Brunsbüttel. Biblis has the dubious reputation of being a "junkyard reactor" because of the frequency of its breakdowns.

The Leipzig judgment, handed down on Thursday (26 March) confirmed those of lower courts and rejected complaints by the power companies operating the plants.

The owners wanted to achieve longer running times by transferring the remaining output quota of another station to these two.

There is tension in the fractious coalition government of conservatives and social democrats over a past government’s law to close down all German nuclear power production in about ten years.

The power industry is lobbying hard to have the law overturned and is backed in this by Chancellor Angela Merkel, a conservative.

Bearbeitet am: 27.03.2009/ad


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