Gabriel blames utility slump on ‘irresponsible speculation’

A report from respected German news magazine, Spiegel, claiming that Germany’s top utilities do not have the finances to pay for the decommissioning of nuclear power plants, has led to E.ON and RWE record their biggest share price slumps in 16 years.

The report outlining how the utilities will not have sufficient provisions to play their part in the country’s nuclear phase out have been branded as “irresponsible speculation” by economy minister Sigmar Gabriel.
Gabriel and Merkel
RWE slumped as much as 14 per cent, the most since January 1999, to 10.18 euros a share, while EON fell 13 per cent in its steepest decline since November 2012 after Spiegel said utilities lack as much as 30 billion euros ($34 billion) to pay for the disposal of nuclear waste.

Gabriel said there’s neither a draft nor a final result of the stress tests that were called for by atomic plant operators in the report.

“Current numbers games are no basis for concrete policy,” he said.

Meanwhile EON said in an e-mailed statement, “Provisions are appropriate, adequate and properly accounted for” with regard to the final storage of atomic waste. The assumptions in the negative stress-test scenario that Spiegel reported are “implausible” and lead to “unrealistic” provision requirements, the Dusseldorf-based utility said.

EON and RWE both said the stress test results aren’t yet final.

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