German government adopts draft decommissioning bill

25 October 2016

The German government on 19 October adopted a draft bill on financing the decommissioning of nuclear power plants and management of radioactive waste. The bill is based on the recommendation of an independent commission - the Kommission zur Überprüfung des Kernenergieausstiegs (KFK) – which reviewed the financing of Germany's nuclear phase-out.  KFK presented its recommendations to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy on 27 April, since when the ministry has examined its recommendations and consulted with other government departments on actions to implement them.

Under the draft bill, the reactor owners involved - EnBW, EOn, RWE and Vattenfall - will pay some €23.6bn ($25.9bn) into a state-owned fund for decommissioning of the plants and managing radioactive waste. The amount includes a 35.5% risk premium which exempts them from having to make any additional contributions to the fund. The ministry is aiming for the bill to enter into force on 31 December. Energy Minister Sigmar Gabriel said the legislation "clarifies responsibility for nuclear waste. It ensures the long-term financing for decommissioning, dismantling and disposal without the transfer of costs to society or jeopardizing the economic situation of operators."

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