RWE and Vattenfall Europe's chances to delay nuclear exit have risen

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

AFX News Limited

FRANKFURT (Thomson Financial) - RWE AG and Vattenfall Europe AG's chances of delaying the shut-down of nuclear reactors until after the next German parliamentary elections have risen after a fall in power volumes following the closure of two reactors, Handelsblatt reported.

The report said the shut-down of RWE's Biblis A reactor and Vattenfall's Brunsbuettel reactor, for technical reasons, leaves them with enough power volumes to enable them to remain open until after October 2009, citing data compiled by the German radiation protection office.

German legislation passed in 2002 obliges utilities to shut nuclear power plants after they have been in operation for an average of 32 years and forbids the construction of new plants, with an eye to replacing nuclear energy with alternative power sources over time.

Each reactor has also been allocated a certain power volume it can produce. Government coalition parties conservatives CDU/CSU and Social Democrats SPD agreed after the 2005 elections to stick to the strategy of exiting nuclear energy, but CDU/CSU would rather halt the exit.

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