Germany to set up fund for NPP closures

7 June 2016

Germany's Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy said on 1 June that federal government has accepted the recommendations of the nuclear phase-out financing review commission (KFK) to create a dedicated fund to finance the cost of the nuclear phase-out. The cabinet had agreed to draft a law to establish the fund to which nuclear utilities will be required to contribute to the cost of nuclear waste storage and final disposal. The KFK recommended that companies pay a total of €23.3bn ($26bn) into the fund.

Draft legislation will make parent energy companies permanently liable for the financial obligations of their nuclear operations in the event of corporate restructuring, the ministry said. The federal government said last year, when the KFK was appointed, that it planned legislation to close a legal loophole and prevent companies from potentially evading decommissioning costs by spinning off their nuclear assets.

However, an expert report released by the federal government last October said Germany's nuclear energy providers had made "sufficient provisions" to cover all costs associated with the country's nuclear phase-out. Germany is committed to closing all of its 17 nuclear reactor units by 2022. Eight units have remained offline since the March 2011 Fukushima-Daiichi accident in Japan. The single-unit Grafenrheinfeld NPP was disconnected from the grid in June 2015 after 33 years of operation, leaving eight in commercial operation.

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