Energy Transition

Nuclear Shut-Down Costs Draw Scrutiny

What a waste.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    The government wants Germany’s four biggest energy companies rather than taxpayers or electricity customers to foot the bill for closing down nuclear power plants and the disposal of nuclear waste.

  • Facts


    • Germany in 2011 announced a program to phase out all nuclear energy in the country by 2022 and draw at least 80 percent of energy from renewables by 2050.
    • The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, made the move after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan.
    • By February, a government committee is supposed to propose how payment of the costs of nuclear phase-out can be ensured.
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At a meeting in the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy in Berlin, energy consultant Harald Rubner gave what he thought was the best solution in the debate about who should pay the billions associated with the nation’s phase-out of nuclear energy.

The expert from corporate consulting firm Boston Consulting Group (BCG) said the solution was to set up a foundation similar to the one being used to oversee the gradual end of the mining activities of German group RAG.

The RAG-Stiftung foundation will shoulder the costs for pumping out water from coal mines. The mines are set to close in 2018 and, in case the foundation doesn’t have enough money to do the job, the government would jump in.

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