FACTBOX-German utilities seek billions in nuclear lawsuits via Reuters

Feb 3 Germany’s big four utilities are seeking more than 24 billion euros ($26 billion) in various lawsuits related to the country’s nuclear policy, including its planned exit from of the technology completely by 2022.
– The German Constitutional Court has scheduled a hearing on the lawsuits for March 15-16.
– In June 2015, the European Court of Justice ruled that Germany’s tax on the use of nuclear energy did not breach European Union laws, dealing a blow to utilities’ hopes for a multi-billion euro refund.

– The German Constitutional Court, the country’s highest, is expected to present a separate final ruling this year on the matter, which could theoretically still scrap the tax.

The fuel element tax, introduced in 2011 and due to expire 2016, requires firms to pay 145 euros per gram of nuclear fuel each time they exchange a fuel rod, usually about twice a year. Germany’s utilities have so far paid at least 4.6 billion euros in the tax.

– E.ON and Vattenfall have filed lawsuits against three German states (Bavaria, Lower Saxony, Schleswig-Holstein) and the federal government, rejecting a 2014 law that banned transporting re-processed nuclear waste to a central storage site at Gorleben and stipulating it be stored at sites near nuclear reactors instead. The utilities say the transport ban is politically motivated and on-site storage incurs additional costs they should not have to bear.


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