Nuclear Phase-out: Germany’s Federal Government signs an Agreement with Energy Utilities

The Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy, Brigitte Zypries, and the boards of management of the energy utilities recently signed an agreement on nuclear phase-out financing.

It confirms the division of responsibility lined out in the Act reorganising responsibility for nuclear waste management. The responsibility for the management and financing of the decommissioning and dismantling of NPPs and of packaging the nuclear waste will continue to be entirely with the NPP operators. The German government will assume responsibility for the management and financing of interim and final storage.

In order to ensure a partial transfer of liability, the funds for interim and final storage will be provided by the energy utilities and will be paid into a fund for the financing of nuclear waste disposal.

The agreement signed on the 26th of June 2017, provides very long-term legal certainty for both the Federation and the companies and completes the process launched when the commission reviewing the financing of Germany’s nuclear phase-out was set up by the current parliament. It also puts an end to numerous legal disputes between energy companies and the state which are linked to nuclear waste management and the nuclear phase-out.

The Act entered into force on 16 June 2017 with the approval of the European Commission under state-aid rules. As of 1 July 2017, companies are to pay fees in cash amounting to around €24bn euros into the newly created “Fund for Nuclear Waste Management”.

The full text of the agreement is available here (PDF, German).

Photo credit: Material used in the preparation of this article has been drawn from The Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWI).


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