News Digest Item
06 Dec 2016

German utilities eligible for “adequate” nuclear exit compensation

Federal Constitutional Court / Reuters / FAZ

Nuclear plant operators affected by Germany’s accelerated nuclear exit after the 2011 Fukushima disaster are eligible for an “adequate” compensation, the Federal Constitutional Court has ruled. The court explained in a press release that the legal procedure for speeding up the end of nuclear power production was essentially constitutional, but the lack of compensation for the utilities’ investments made in “good faith” in 2010 - when an extended service life for the plants was agreed - violated property rights. The court’s ruling will pave the way for subsequent damage claims and boost the companies’ shares, according to news agency Reuters. The utilities E.ON, RWE and Vattenfall sued the German government over the decision to accelerate the country’s nuclear exit, arguing it equalled expropriation. According to Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ), their compensation claims amount to about 19 billion euros, which the companies will have to seek in separate lawsuits at civil courts.

Read the court’s press release in German here and a news article by Reuters in English here and by Deutsche Welle here.

For background on the juridical aspects of Germany’s nuclear exit, see the CLEW factsheet Legal disputes over the nuclear phase-out.

Read more on Germany’s decision to exit nuclear power in the CLEW dossier The challenges of Germany’s nuclear phase-out.

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