A German court in Hanover on Monday rejected a claim by E.ON SE (EONAN.XE) for around 382 million euros ($425 million) in damages related to a 2011 government moratorium on operating some of the country’s older nuclear power plants.
The court said the utility could have prevented the temporary shut-down if it had filed a complaint immediately after it was decreed. Chancellor Angela Merkel issued the moratorium, which applied to the country’s oldest reactors, for a three-month period following the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan in March 2011.
E.ON argued that an immediate legal complaint wouldn’t have been reasonable given the public fear and aversion to nuclear energy that was stirred by the Japanese accident. The company also said its complaint would have taken longer to process than the moratorium itself.
Monday’s ruling isn’t binding and can be appealed, the court said in a statement.
“We are reviewing the decision of the court and an appeal is possible,” an E.ON spokesman said.
In April a court rejected a similar claim for damages filed by government-controlled EnBW Energie Baden-Wuerrtemberg AG, also saying the company failed to contest the Chancellor’s decision at the time.
The moratorium applied to eight reactors operated by various utilities, which were subsequently shut down for good after the three-month moratorium.