German energy conglomerate RWE took legal action Friday against a government order to shut down some of its nuclear reactors as part of a three month safety review. After the nuclear crisis in Japan, where an atomic energy facility was badly damaged in a devastating tsunami earlier this month, the German government suspended plans to extend the lives of the country’s seventeen nuclear power plants and ordered the shutdown of seven.
Two of RWE’s nuclear reactors are affected by the moratorium, although one had already been shut for maintenance. The company is Germany’s second largest electricity producer and the first of its four nuclear reactor operators to go to court over the government’s order to close plants.
RWE’s main competitor, E.ON, decided against legal action, despite skepticism over the legality of the moratorium. EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg, which operates three nuclear power plants in Germany’s southeastern most province, said it continued to examine the legality of the decree.