Minister signals German trust could handle nuclear waste storage via Reuters

Germany could share responsibility for phasing out nuclear power with energy firms by setting up a publicly managed trust, the environment minister said on Sunday.

Barbara Hendricks’ comments to Deutschlandfunk radio follow calls by Germany’s top energy firms utilities on Berlin to help handle the country’s nuclear exit and set up a trust for decommissioning plants and the storage of radioactive waste.

A government-appointed commission is tasked with recommending by early 2016 how to safeguard the funding of fulfilling the exit.

Germany’s “big four” utilities – E.ON, RWE, EnBW and Vattenfall – have already set aside nearly 40 billion euros ($42 billion) to fund the decommissioning and waste disposal but say they cannot handle the problem on their own. Hendricks said half of provisions could remain with the utilities to pay for the dismantling of the nuclear power plants.

“And yes, if the other half was put into a publicly managed fund, so that the finances were available for finding and establishing sites for storage, then that would be progress. I would agree to that.”

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