German nuclear commission warns of delay to waste storage deal

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany should speed up implementation of recommendations requiring operators of nuclear plants to pay billions of euros into a fund to cover the costs of waste storage, a commission urged the chancellery in a letter seen by Reuters on Wednesday.

The commission tasked with finding a solution for how to fund the storage of radioactive waste said in April it wanted utilities to pay 23.3 billion euros ($26.08 billion) into a state-fund to cover the costs.

The German cabinet has approved the commission’s recommendations, affecting Germany’s “big four” power firms - E.ON, RWE, EnBW and Vattenfall [VATN.UL].

Every year of delay in implementation would cost utilities 4.6 percent in accrued interest, the commission said, as the original amount they have to pay into the fund was based on calculations for 2014.

The commission said a planned meeting on the issue of several ministries set for Oct. 10 was too late, as it risks postponing implementation well into next year.

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Reporting by Markus Wacket; Writing by Joseph Nasr; Editing by Christoph Steitz