The German government’s intentions were undoubtedly good. The nuclear commission it appointed last fall was supposed to reach consensus over how the country should pay for the nuclear phase-out.
And its 19 members did so last week, when they unanimously approved a concept designed to guarantee the demolition of reactors and disposal of fuel rods.
There is only one snag: Those who are supposed to pay for the effort aren’t pleased.
Energy giants E.ON, RWE, EnBW and Vattenfall have rejected the concept. In a joint statement, they said that it would undermine their economic performance.
Specifically, they’re worried the additional costs would weigh on their credit ratings, depriving them of the financial strength they need to restructure as Germany moves from fossil and nuclear to renewable energy sources.
According to industry insiders, RWE, the largest utility serving the German market, is particularly concerned.
“From our perspective, this is too expensive and not financially responsible,” RWE Chief Financial Officer Bernhard Günther said at a press conference in Frankfurt on Monday.