Oil Report

FACTBOX-German utilities seek billions in nuclear lawsuits

April 6 (Reuters) - Germany's big four utilities - E.ON
, RWE, EnBW and Vattenfall
 - are seeking nearly 25 billion euros ($28 billion) in
various lawsuits related to the country's nuclear policy.
    Following is a list of all pending cases:
    - A German regional court rejected a claim for damages
brought against the state of Baden Wuerttemberg by EnBW, in
which it sought 261 million euros in damages for the closures of
Neckarwestheim 1 and Philippsburg 1. 
    - E.ON in 2014 also filed a lawsuit seeking 380 million
euros in damages over a moratorium on nuclear production at
Germany's eight oldest reactors after the Fukushima disaster,
that subsequently led to their permanent closure. These included
E.ON's Unterweser and Isar 1 plants.
    - RWE is seeking 235 million euros from the federal
government and the state of Hesse for the enforced shutdown of
its Biblis A and B plants. A court has signalled the company
might get back much less than that. 
    - Vattenfall's two German reactors, Brunsbuettel and
Kruemmel, were inactive in 2011, so did not become subject to
the moratorium.
    - E.ON, RWE and Vattenfall have filed complaints with
Germany's highest court against the government's decision, taken
in the aftermath of Japan's Fukushima nuclear accident in 2011, 
to close all nuclear plants in Germany by 2022.
    That reversed an October 2010 agreement to allow some plants
to run beyond 2022.
    - Following a two-day hearing in March, in which an
expropriation claim by the utilities was challenged, the
Constitutional Court is expected to make a ruling later this
year on the legality of the decision. 
    - E.ON is suing for 8 billion euros. RWE has not commented
on the possible size of claims but analysts at Deutsche Bank
estimate it could be about 6 billion euros.
    - Vattenfall, whose group headquarters are in Sweden, has
also filed a lawsuit with the Washington-based International
Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), where it
is seeking 4.7 billion euros in damages. 
    - As EnBW is majority state-owned, it has not sued the
government over this issue.
    - A fuel element tax, introduced in 2011 and due to expire
this year, requires firms to pay 145 euros per gram of nuclear
fuel each time they exchange a fuel rod, usually about twice a
year. Germany's utilities have so far paid a total of 5.4
billion euros in the tax.
    - The utilities argue they only agreed to pay this in return
for being granted longer lifespans for their plants as was
promised in the pre-Fukushima agreement.
    - The German Constitutional Court is expected to present a
separate final ruling this year on the matter and could
theoretically scrap the tax.
    - In June 2015, the European Court of Justice ruled that
Germany's tax on the use of nuclear energy did not breach
European Union laws, dealing a blow to utilities' hopes for a
multi-billion euro refund. 

    - E.ON and Vattenfall have filed lawsuits against three
German states (Bavaria, Lower Saxony, Schleswig-Holstein) and
the federal government, rejecting a 2014 law that banned
transporting reprocessed nuclear waste to a central storage site
at Gorleben in northwest Germany and stipulating it be stored at
sites near nuclear reactors instead.
    The utilities say the transport ban is politically motivated
and on-site storage incurs additional costs they should not have
to bear.
    - RWE has filed similar lawsuits concerning the sites of its
Biblis, Lingen and Gundremmingen reactors in Hesse, Lower Saxony
and Bavaria.
    - As EnBW is majority state-owned, it will not sue the
government over this issue.
    ($1 = 0.8807 euros)

 (Reporting by Christoph Steitz, Vera Eckert and Tom
Kaeckenhoff; Editing by Keith Weir and Mark Potter)