Mühleberg upgrade decision delayed

19 December 2012

Swiss utility BKW FMB Energy has delayed a decision on making safety-related upgrades at the Mühleberg nuclear power plant. The decision - originally expected in mid-2013 - will now be made at the end of 2013.

Muhleberg (BKW)_380
Mühleberg (Image: BKW)

The utility noted that the timeframe for planning the upgrades will only become clear after the Federal Court has made a ruling on the continued operation of the Mühleberg plant.

Switzerland's Federal Administrative Court (FAC) ruled on 1 March 2012 that the 40-year-old 372 MWe boiling water reactor can only operate until 28 June 2013, overturning a 2009 decision by the environment ministry to issue an unlimited-duration operating licence to the plant.

BKW lodged an appeal with the Federal Court against the FAC's ruling, but is still awaiting the court's decision.

The company has informed the Bern government and the country's regulatory authorities that its decision has been delayed by at least six months while it undertakes additional investigations into its plan for the long-term operation of the plant. BKW said that "the initial indicative tenders show that the original estimated costs of CHF170 million ($187 million) will be exceeded."

It added that, "due to a lack of competition among the suppliers", investigations into price fixing would need to be carried out before the results of the economic viability audit and the application to conduct the work can be submitted to its board of directors.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News