At the end of September, EnBW applied to the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Protection and Reactor Safety to continue operation of the plant for another five years by transferring to Obrigheim 15TWh of production from Neckarwestheim 2, which is due to run until 2021. This would have allowed Obrigheim to run until the date for the next Federal election. However, the Social Democrats and the Greens agreed that only 5.5TWh may be transferred from Philippsburg 1, allowing for an extra two years of operation. The Greens insist on this to make sure that Obrigheim will be closed down during the present legislative period.
EnBW chairman Gerhard Goll said that he was not pleased with the decision, as chancellor Schröder had agreed to five years of operation.
At 34 years old, Obrigheim is one of the oldest German reactors, and would have been finally shut down by the end of 2002.
Allowing transfer of production from one nuclear plant to another was intended to enable older plants to be shut down earlier, with their capacity being used by the more efficient modern plants. The Stade plant will be shut down next year for economic reasons, with remaining production being transferred to other E.ON plants.