Muehleberg nuclear plant closure plan overturned by Swiss court

ZURICH, March 28 Thu Mar 28, 2013 10:35am EDT

ZURICH, March 28 (Reuters) - The Muehleberg nuclear power plant will stay open after Switzerland's supreme court on Thursday overruled a lower court decision which called for the site to shut in June for security reasons.

"We will concentrate on the additional improvement measures requested by [Swiss nuclear power regulator] ENSI for the continued operation of Muehleberg," plant operator BKW FMB said in a statement.

The ruling comes one year after a lower court ruled Muehleberg must go offline for security reasons, including insufficient resistance to earthquakes and lack of cooling outside the nearby Aare river. {ID:nL5E8E771P]

Built in 1972, Muehleberg is frequently cited by opponents of nuclear energy as ripe for mothballing.

"Nein zu neuen AKW," a group which lobbies against new nuclear power plants, criticised the Swiss court ruling, saying it highlights differing legal views of nuclear power. The group also said the ruling does not address public safety concerns.

ENSI, or the Swiss Federal Nuclear Safety Inspectorate, has said Muehleberg does not represent a risk despite fissures in its core shroud.

Nuclear energy has come under increased public scrutiny in Switzerland, which gets about 40 percent of its power from nuclear, after Japan's Fukushima disaster in 2011.

The government has scrapped plans to build new nuclear reactors but has stopped short of shutting existing ones early. (Reporting by Katharina Bart; editing by Jason Neely)

Photo

After wave of QE, onus shifts to leaders to boost economy

DAVOS, Switzerland - Central banks have done their best to rescue the world economy by printing money and politicians must now act fast to enact structural reforms and pro-investment policies to boost growth, central bankers said on Saturday.