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Energy firms want billions for nuke exit

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Energy firms want billions for nuke exit
Photo: DPA
10:18 CEST+02:00
German power suppliers are suing the government for €15 billion in damages over the decision to abandon nuclear power, a newspaper reported on Wednesday.

The country's biggest power utility E.ON wants at least €8.0 billion alone, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) said, without revealing its sources.

In the wake of the nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Japan, Berlin decided to phase out nuclear power, forcing energy suppliers to shut down their profitable large-scale power plants, while it also levied a tax on the reactors' fuel for their remaining lifespan.

Both E.ON and its next biggest rival RWE have already filed complaints with the constitutional court, arguing that the nuclear exit decision has harmed their proprietary rights as they had to shut down reactors early. Both have seen profits fall sharply since the closures.

And according to the FAZ, Swedish energy provider Vattenfall may follow suit.

E.ON said the complaint was not about the pull-out from nuclear energy per se, which is largely supported in Germany, but about the lack of compensation for the companies affected by the energy policy U-turn.

Environment groups have hit back at nuclear power companies asking for compensation, calling them “impassably audacious.”

“The damage her is not in shutting down the plants, but what they were doing when they were working,” said Jochen Stay, spokesman for the anti-nuclear organisation Ausgestrahlt.

AFP/DPA/The Local/jcw

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