Biblis A nuclear power plant in Hesse has been granted a reprieve from closure following a change of state government. The new Hesse prime minister decided the unit will remain in service and its owner, RWE, will work out a backfitting programme to improve safety standards at the plant.

The former Social Democrat/Green government intended to shut the plant, but its plans were disrupted by elections last September which led to a new government taking office. The winning parties both campaigned to keep the Biblis station in operation. The new government will ask RWE for safety improvements so the nuclear facility can remain in service.

In a separate move, RWE signed an agreement with Russian electricity group RAO EES Rosij. The German utility hopes to facilitate the exchange of power between Russia and the west European grid.