Mühleberg operators to appeal court ruling

BKW Energy, which runs the Mühleberg atomic plant near Bern, is to appeal a court ruling that the site should lose its operating licence at the end of June 2013.

This content was published on March 14, 2012 and agencies

The company said in a statement on Wednesday that it was undertaking the move “in order to obtain the legal certainty required for a decision on investments” on the nuclear plant.

It added that the Federal Administrative Court, which made the original ruling, required BKW to draw up a maintenance concept for Mühleberg, which had already been started. But the firm said that the court decision raised “fundamental questions which must be clarified by the Federal Court”.

The court said on March 7 that the licence should be taken away on safety grounds, after local opponents had lodged a complaint about the indefinite extension of the licence granted  by the environment ministry at the end of 2009.

The 1972 plant, one of five in Switzerland, supplies five per cent of the country’s energy needs. Last September it was restarted after three months of annual checks and safety improvements.
Switzerland’s heavy reliance on nuclear energy came under intense pressure in the wake of Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster almost exactly a year ago, with the government ultimately pledging to abandon nuclear power by 2034.

On March 11, the first anniversary of the disaster, thousands of anti-nuclear activists demonstrated at Mühleberg, called for the immediate closure of both this plant and the site at Beznau.

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