Mülheim-Kärlich loses court battle

28 February 1998

RWE has lost the latest and very possibly final legal battle over the Mülheim-Kärlich plant when the Federal Administration Court in Berlin refused its appeal to restart the station which had been shutdown nearly 10 years ago after less than a year of commercial operation. The court said that it has not adequately resolved earthquake risk issues. The plant was forced to stop operation in 1988 when its first construction licence of 1975 was cancelled by the courts. Since then the plant has been subject to various legal actions.

RWE now envisages a loss of about DM 11.5 billion which includes some DM 7 billion of construction costs and the remainder for maintenance and electricity replacement over the past 10 years and for decommissioning and the back end of the fuel cycle. RWE is now looking at gaining financial compensation from the federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate. How-ever, as the courts have indicated that RWE bares some of the responsibility, the state does not expect to have to make a large contribution.

Werner Hlubek, a member of the board of RWE Energie, said that RWE finds the judgement difficult to understand when for only formal legal reasons one of the world’s safety nuclear stations is not being allowed to start up. RWE has said it will investigate the possibility of applying again for a first-part construction licence.

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