Germany to compensate utilities for nuclear phaseout which violated property rights

The German cabinet has agreed to grant compensation of up to EUR1 billion (USD1.17 billion) to the utilities forced to shut down their nuclear power plants by the Energiewende, or energy transition, that the government of Chancellor Angela Merkel introduced in response to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident in Japan in March 2011. At that time, Germany was obtaining around a quarter of its electricity from 17 nuclear reactors operated by EnBW, EOn, RWE and Vattenfall.

The cabinet’s approval of a draft law at a regular meeting in Berlin yesterday follows a ruling two years ago by the Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe that the 2011 decision to withdraw all of Germany’s nuclear power plants by the end of 2022 violated some property rights, enabling the possibility of compensation for the utilities affected.

The draft law envisages compensation for RWE and Vattenfall for losses incurred as a result of Energiewende. A specific figure could only be calculated in 2023, the cabinet said, but the German Environment Ministry (BMU) has said payments for the two utilities would not exceed a low single-digit-billion-euro amount and would more likely be in the high three-digit-million-euro range.

Other Nuclear News

Unit 5 of the Yangjiang nuclear power plant in China’s Guangdong province has been connected to the electricity grid, China General Nuclear (CGN) announced yesterday. The unit – the first ACPR1000 reactor to be built and the first Chinese unit to feature a domestically-developed digital control system – is scheduled to enter commercial operation later this year.

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