(adds comment from utilities, background)
BERLIN Dec 9 Nuclear power firms have written a
letter to Germany's parliamentarians saying they are prepared to
drop some of their numerous legal claims in exchange for handing
the bill for nuclear waste storage to the government.
Following Japan's Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011,
Germany imposed a three-month nuclear power moratorium,
prompting E.ON, RWE and EnBW to
seek 876 million euros ($924 million) in claims from the German
In a letter seen by Reuters, which was sent to the
parliamentary groups of Germany's Bundestag lower house, the
utility companies said they were now willing to consider
forgoing some of the claims if the recommendations made by
Germany's nuclear commission were made binding.
The commission has called for the creation of a nuclear fund
to pay for the storage of nuclear waste. Under the proposal,
which has yet to be formalised, the utilities would contribute
23.6 billion euros ($25 billion) in exchange for shifting
liability for looking after the waste to the government.
RWE and Vattenfall confirmed the existence of the letter
without commenting on its contents. E.ON and EnBW declined to
According to the letter, the utilities are also prepared to
forgo other claims related to finding a site to store nuclear
waste, including at Gorleben, where they have spent a total of
1.74 billion euros so far.
Spiegel Online first reported the letter
The Fukushima disaster sparked a policy U-turn in Germany
which decided to phase out nuclear power by 2022, devaluing the
nuclear assets operated by the energy companies.
Germany's highest court on Tuesday ruled that hastening the
shutdown of nuclear plants after the Fukushima disaster violated
some of the property rights of utility companies, allowing them
to seek limited damages.
($1 = 0.9484 euros)
(Reporting by Tom Kaeckenhoff, Chris Steitz and Markus Wacket;
Writing by Michelle Martin and Edward Taylor; Editing by Mark