EnBW Halts Two German Reactors for Merkel-Ordered Safety Checks

EnBW Energie Baden-Wuerttemberg AG (EBK), Germany’s third-largest utility, halted two nuclear stations as part of government-ordered safety checks at the country’s seven oldest plants after explosions at Japanese reactors.

EnBW started halting its Neckarwestheim 1 and Philippsburg 1 plants in the south of the country yesterday, the utility said in a statement on its website.

That brings the total nuclear capacity reduction since March 15, when Chancellor Angela Merkel ordered the nationwide safety review to run through June, to 2.5 gigawatts. Two of the seven plants are currently offline. The rest, including the two plants EnBW closed, equals 25 percent of the 20.7 gigawatts installed over Germany’s 17 reactors.

E.ON AG (EOAN) cut output at its 878-megawatt Isar 1 reactor to 110 megawatts on March 15 and is waiting for an order from the government to switch off that facility as well as its Unterweser plant, Petra Uhlmann, a company spokeswoman said yesterday. The utility will staff the reactors over the weekend and shut them down immediately when the government issues the order, Chief Executive Officer Johannes Teyssen said yesterday.

Stefan Mappus, the premier of Baden-Wuerttemberg, and Lucia Puttrich, the state of Hesse’s environment minister, have said that two reactors in those states are unlikely to resume service after the three-month safety checks. The plants are Biblis A in Hesse, which is operated by RWE AG (RWE), and EnBW’s Neckarwestheim 1.

Hesse will probably issue an order by tomorrow for the halt of Biblis A, the state said in a news release on its website yesterday. Nuclear plants can take several hours to halt.

GERMAN REACTORS TO HALT UNDER SAFETY CHECKS:

UNIT           OWNER      MW       OUT         RETURN
Isar 1         E.ON       770      March 15    Mid-June*
Unterweser     E.ON       1,345    Unknown**   Unknown**
Biblis A       RWE        1,167    March 18-19 May not Return***
Biblis B       RWE        1,227    Feb. 25     Unknown**
Brunsbuettel   Vfall/E.ON 771      July 18 ‘07 Unknown**
Neckarwest’ 1  EnBW       840      March 16    May not Return***
Philippsburg 1 EnBW       926      March 16    Unknown**

* Company estimate ** Determined by state/federal government *** Determined by company and or state government

To contact the reporter on this story: Nicholas Comfort in Frankfurt at ncomfort1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Will Kennedy at wkennedy3@bloomberg.net

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