German court dismisses EnBW nuclear damage suit

A German regional court this week dismissed a lawsuit by EnBW, one of the country’s ‘big four’ utilities, seeking financial compensation for a three-month shutdown of two of its older nuclear reactors after the Fukushima disaster in Japan in 2011.

The 805 MW Neckarwestheim 1 PWR reactor, which came online in 1976, was shut down permanently in 2011. The 926 MW Phillipsburg 1 (pictured) BWR reactor came online in 1979. According to EnBW’s website, it is currently on ‘night operation’ and is scheduled for decommissioning. à‚ 

The €261m ($296m) suit was dismissed by the Bonn court on the grounds that EnBW had failed to take legal action in order to avert commercial damage at the time the moratorium was imposed.à‚ 

In a statement, the court said: “A legal challenge by the plaintiff would have had a postponing effect, which could have prevented a shutdown of both power plants from March 16, 2011 and averted the subsequent damage.”

The court also noted that EnBW had stated in 2011 that it would not contest the shutdown policy. EnBW filed its suit in 2014.à‚ 

The company now has one month to appeal the decision.à‚ 

RWE and E.ON have also filed similar claims, RWE’s for €253m and E.ON’s for €380m.

See also:

Report indicates Germany government may protect utilities from nuclear costs

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