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German Energy Companies May File 22 Billion Suit Against Government

© Flickr / Wil C. FryNuclear power
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Many of the companies suffered severe financial losses after the German government decided to stop using nuclear power for energy production.

The German Federal Constitutional Court will examine the legality of Germany’s nuclear power phase-out in 2011 with the country’s constitutional law over the course of this year, according to the German newspaper “Die Welt.”

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If the phase-out turns out to be incompatible with constitutional provisions, this may pave the way for legal suits from energy companies amounting to billion euros. According to the newspaper, the companies may claim damage of up to 22 billion euros against the federal government.

Three operators of German nuclear power plants — E.on, RWE and Vattenfall – claim that Germany’s nuclear power phase-out amounts to governmental expropriation and are seeking appropriate compensation.

After the Fukushima nuclear disaster on March 11, 2011, Germany closed eight of its 17 reactors and promised to completely cease nuclear power energy production by the end of 2022.

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