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UPDATE 1-No deal yet on German nuclear exit costs – sources via Reuters

By Markus Wacket

BERLIN, April 13 Utilities in Germany will have to set aside more money to cover the cost of storing nuclear waste, four sources in a government-appointed commission told Reuters, after a meeting on Wednesday failed to reach agreement on how much more.

E.ON, RWE, EnBW and Vattenfall, Germany’s “big four” power firms, have set aside about 40 billion euros ($45 billion) in provisions to pay for the dismantling of plants and storage of waste, part of the country’s plans to ditch nuclear power generation.

Fearing that utilities could buckle under the weight of the financial burden and fail to come up with the money, Berlin has set up a commission to protect it, most likely through a government-controlled fund to cover storage operations, the most complex element of the nuclear exit.

Uncertainty over how much money the utilities will have to set aside has clouded their prospects and investors and analysts are watching the commission’s actions closely.

The cost of storing the nuclear waste is about 18 billion euros and this money is likely to be transferred into the government-controlled fund to ensure it is available when needed.

Members of the commission said a surcharge (on top of the 18 billion euros) was a fundamental requirement to shake off liability for any future risks. This surcharge has become the main sticking point in the talks.

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