Clean-up Costs

Nuclear Legacy Adds to Deutsche Bahn Woes

  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Heavily indebted Deutsche Bahn needs to find an additional €170 million to top up its contribution to nuclear waste disposal.

  • Facts


    • Deutsche Bahn draws 16 percent of its entire energy needs from nuclear power.
    • Germany plans to shut down all of its nuclear plants by 2022.
    • The company says that 40 percent of its current energy needs come from renewable sources.
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Germany’s Operational Nuclear Power Plants Ahead Of 2022 National Shut Down
The cost of its nuclear power use is looming over Deutsche Bahn. Source: Getty Images

Germany’s state-owned railway operator, Deutsche Bahn, will pay €350 million ($371 million) into a fund that finances the disposal of nuclear waste, the company has confirmed.

The company will pay into the fund because it receives around 16 percent of its energy needs from nuclear power. Until 2011, the share was even higher at nearly a quarter, supplied by the Neckarwestheim nuclear plant operated by utility EnBW near Stuttgart.

That’s a little known fact that jars with the company’s stated commitment to Germany’s green energy revolution, which aims to render the country wholly independent of fossil power by 2050.

Under Germany’s plan to phase out nuclear energy by 2022, the four major energy companies are required to pay billions into a fund to dispose of atomic waste from their nuclear plants.

“Without the railway the energy revolution wouldn’t be possible,” Deutsche Bahn chief Rüdiger Grube recently told Handelsblatt in an interview. “We already run 90 percent on electric power and 40 percent of our energy comes from renewable sources.”

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