Federal Court refused suspensive effect of BKW appeal

The plan to shut down the nuclear power plant Mühlenberg in June 2013 is still in effect, despite an appeal to the Federal Court.

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The judges in Lausanne refused to grant the suspensive effect of the appeal to the power plant operator BKW. In March of this year the Federal Administrative Court decided that the power plant would only be allowed to operate until the end of June 2013, due to safety reasons. To attain a permit for further use the judges in Bern requested an extensive maintenance concept from the BKW.

Following the administrative court's decision, the BKW appealed to the Federal Court. Fearing the judges would not reach a decision before the end of June 2013, they asked for their appeal to be granted suspensive effect.


The Federal Court denied the appeal on 23 May. According to the interim decision, at present there was no need for preventive measures or the suspension of the time limit. According to the court, the BKW's obligation to take over court costs of CHF 16,000 as well as compensation costs of CHF 40.000 as laid down by the Federal Administrative Court would not be suspended either.

Regarding the development of a maintenance concept neither the BKW nor the Federal Department of Transport, Communications and Energy (Uvek), which had also made an appeal, asked for suspensive effect.

Safety issues

According to the Federal Court there was no interest in releasing the BKW from this assignment. The Uvek had issued an unlimited permit for the operation of the power plant in 2009 as the Federal Nuclear Safety Inspectorat had guaranteed its safety. In March the Federal Court made the decision, that it was not viable to keep on running a 40-year old nuclear power plant. The saftey issues were too heavy to be rectified by the Federal Nuclear Safety Inspectorat alone.

The condition of the core shroud, the yet to be assessed earthquake safety and the absence of a cooling system, independant of the River Aare would allow operations only until June 2013. Should the BKW want to extend its permit they would have to submit an extensive maintenance concept. (sda)

Erstellt: 29.05.2012, 14:38 Uhr



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