German utilities want 15 bn euros for nuclear exit: report

German power suppliers are suing the government for 15 billion euros ($19 billion) in damages over the decision to abandon nuclear power, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported Wednesday.

The country's biggest power utility E.ON, alone, wants at least 8.0 billion euros, the newspaper said, without revealing its sources.

In the wake of the nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Japan, Berlin decided to phase out nuclear power, forcing energy suppliers to shut down their profitable large-scale power plants, while it also levied a tax on the reactors' fuel for their remaining lifespan.

Both E.ON and its next biggest rival RWE have already filed complaints with the constitutional court, arguing that the nuclear exit decision has harmed their proprietary rights as they had to shut down reactors early.

E.ON said the complaint was not about the pull-out from nuclear energy per se, which is largely supported in Germany, but about the lack of compensation for the companies affected by the energy policy U-turn.

Both companies have seen profits fall sharply owing to the shutdown of their nuclear power plants.

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