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BKW Sinks on Ruling to Close Swiss Atomic Plant: Zurich Mover

BKW SA, the operator of a nuclear plant in Muehleberg, Switzerland, dropped the most in three months in Zurich trading after a court ordered the company to shut the station next year.

The shares fell as much as 9 percent, the biggest intraday decline since they began trading Dec. 13, and were down 8 percent to 33.35 Swiss francs at 10:48 a.m. Zurich time. BKW FMB Energie AG, the parent, has fallen 58 percent in 12 months.

Switzerland, where about 40 percent of power is nuclear, has debated the industry’s future since a March 11 earthquake and tsunami triggered partial meltdowns at Japan’s Fukushima plant. Muehleberg is about 60 kilometers (37 miles) from Basel, the site of a 1356 quake thought to be the biggest in recorded European history. The plant has been the site of protests seeking its closure, which the ruling set for next summer.

“The condition of the core shroud, the inconclusive estimations of earthquake safety and the absence of cooling independent of the River Aare do not allow for the operation of Muehleberg beyond mid-2013,” the Federal Administrative Court said in a statement.

On May 25, 2011 the government said it would phase out atomic energy by 2034, effectively ending BKW FMB’s joint bid with Axpo Holding AG to build a replacement for Muehleberg, which went online in 1972.

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