Jürgen Trittin, minister for the environment, nature protection and reactor safety, has ordered the interruption of the licensing procedure for the enlargement of the sump strainer in the emergency core cooling system at Biblis A. The move follows earlier indications by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, that it would not allow the reactor's restart (see NEI June 2003, p6).
Trittin argued that safety examination carried out by the Hesse Ministry of Environmental, Rural and Consumer Affairs (Hmulv) was "entirely insufficient." Hmulv head Wilhelm Dietzel and Biblis A owner RWE said the decision to strip Hmulv with the authority to issue the licence was unjustified.
RWE's licence application, which had been provisionally approved by Hmulv, involved enlarging the strainer's area to bring it in line with German regulations. Under last year's nuclear phase-out agreement, the 1225MWe PWR would be allowed to generate 62TWh from 1 January 2000. With the accumulation of delays since 2000, the unit would not reach this figure until after the next general election in late 2006 or early 2007.
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