PROPOSAL FOR NUCLEAR PHASE OUT FINANCING BURDENS UTILITIES

GERMANY A government-appointed commission has released its proposal for the financing of nuclear decommissioning in Germany.

In Germany the last nuclear power plant shall be taken off grid in 2022. The German government has appointed a commission tasked with reviewing and securing the long-term financing of nuclear decommissioning. The commission presented its recommendations at a press conference on April 27.

The commission unanimously suggests that the four operators E.ON, RWE, EnBW and Vattenfall take over the shut down and the decommissioning of the nuclear power plants and become unlimitedly liable for this. The German state takes over the final and intermediate repository for the nuclear waste and will set up a fund that is to be financed by the operators. According to the proposal the utilities are to pay in total 23,34 billion Euro. The sum is based on the provisions made by the operators and an additional risk premium of 35 per cent to cover extra costs.

Constructive dialogue with the CoMMission
Vattenfall is one of the first companies decommissioning nuclear plants in Germany. 

“Therefore we welcome that there has been an open and constructive dialogue with the Nuclear Commission and the companies concerned about the commercial and regulatory framework for the German nuclear phase out”, says Stefan Dohler, Senior Vice President Markets, who has led the negotiations for Vattenfall. 

“We also appreciate that the Nuclear Commission has found a joint view on the matter. The proposals of the Commission for the review of the financing of the nuclear phase-out (KFK) show in view of the four affected energy companies - and thus also in our view - in principle a feasible way to organize and finance the nuclear power phase-out.”

Request for risk premium disproportional
However, the so-called risk premium which the Commission requests on top of the amount of provisions already in the books of the companies is disproportionate to the economic strength of the affected utilities. Yet, Vattenfall covers the smallest financial share of the eternity burdens and is liable for less than 10% of these costs.

Hope for a common solution
Vattenfall, just as the other utilities concerned, remains interested in finding a joint solution. Stefan Dohler: 

“We will further analyze the proposal of the Commission, hoping to find a joint solution with the German government how to tackle the still open issues. We take our responsibility for this process but can’t offer financial solutions which are contrary to the given commercial and legal framework. “

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