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08.12.2016 8:30
Court Backs German Utilities' Nuclear Phase-Out Compensation Claims
Three of the four energy company operating those plants - EOn, RWE and Vattenfall - launched legal actions seeking compensation for the early shut down of their reactors

  • Krummel NPP
    © Vattenfall

Germany's Federal Constitutional Court ruled that, although the country's 2011 phase-out legislation is essentially in compliance with the constitution, power utilities are entitled to "reasonable" compensation for the early shut down of their nuclear power reactors, reported

Germany's reaction to the Fukushima accident in 2011 was extreme, with Chancellor Angela Merkel making two decisions: firstly to order a shutdown of eight units that started operation in or before 1980 for a three-month moratorium period; and subsequently that those units may not be allowed to restart. Without consultation or reference to independent regulatory advice on the safety of the plants, the orders were executed by the German states which are home to the reactors.

Three of the four energy company operating those plants - EOn, RWE and Vattenfall - launched legal actions seeking compensation for the early shut down of their reactors. They claim the change to the law constitutes expropriation. EnBW, which is 45% owned by the Green-governed state of Baden-Wurttemburg, did not contest the shutdown.

In its judgement, the Constitutional Court said the phase-out legislation itself is largely within Germany's constitution. However, it said it does "violate the constitutionally guaranteed right to property to the extent that the introduction of fixed dates by which nuclear power plants in Germany must be shut down does not ensure that the electricity output allowances allocated to each power plant by law in 2002 will be used up within the corporations concerned before the fixed shut down dates."

The three utilities issued statements welcoming the court's decision and saying they are prepared to enter constructive talks with the German government on the implementation of the ruling. They also commented that the amount of the claims they will seek cannot be quantified until the court's decision has been analyzed in more detail.

TAGS: Germany | Court | energy | compensation | Fukushima | utilities | claims | EON | Vattenfall | RWE | nuclear 

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20.03.2022  Teodor Bobochikov, Managing Partner, V-Ridium
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