Tuesday, January 14, 2014

RWE to sue after German nuclear plant shut-down ruled illegal

Potentially big financial news due to forced shut down of reactors in Germany

RWE to sue after German nuclear plant shut-down ruled illegal | Reuters:
(Reuters) - Germany's No.2 utility RWE is preparing to sue for millions of euros of damages after a federal court confirmed that a state's decision to shut down the company's Biblis nuclear plant for three months in 2011 was illegal.

A spokeswoman for RWE said it planned the lawsuit over Biblis, Germany's oldest nuclear plant, which the state of Hesse had ordered closed as a precaution following the disaster at Japan's Fukushima plant.

The spokeswoman declined to comment on the potential size of the claims but industry analysts have estimated that RWE suffered about 187 million euros ($255 million) in damages as a consequence of the forced shut-down."
Shares in RWE, Germany's second largest utility by market value after E.ON, rose after the news and were up 4.7 percent, topping the German benchmark DAX index.
Continue reading at Reuters

World Nuclear News has now reported on this, providing additional information including the legal actions involving the other reactors shut down at the same time as Bilbis.

German nuclear shutdown unlawful | World Nuclear News
...The company has previously said it suffered losses of over €1 billion ($1.3 billion) in 2011 alone due to the Biblis shutdown.
The same shutdown orders hit Germany's other nuclear operators, EOn, Vattenfall and EnBW, although EnBW is 45% owned by the Green-governed state of Baden-Wurttemburg and is not contesting the shutdown or appealing a ruling that upheld the fuel tax. EOn and RWE have doubts about the legality of the shutdown order, but have chosen not to pursue the matter in court, industry group Deutsches Atomforum told World Nuclear News. Instead the companies are contesting the constitutionality of the 2011 amendment to the Atomic Act which redrew operating periods for remaining reactors. Another set of questions on the fuel tax have now been referred by German courts to the European Court of Justice. Sweden-owned Vattenfall is contesting the shutdown via international arbitrartion.
Collectively the utilities lost 8336 MWe of nuclear generating capacity, closing Biblis A and B, Neckarwestheim 1, Brunsbuttel, Isar 1, Unterweser, and Phillipsburg 1. Despite only starting operation built in 1984, Krummel was not brought back from long-term shutdown.

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