The German government has presented a landmark bill on splitting up the multibillion euro cost of storing thousands of tonnes of nuclear waste, a critical element of the country’s efforts to deal with its nuclear legacy. Berlin decided after the 2011 Fukushima disaster to switch off all its nuclear power stations by 2022, and has been trying to figure out ever since who should bear the cost of the shutdown and subsequent clean-up, which is expected to total 48bn euros. The bill presented on Wednesday confirms that the operators of Germany’s nuclear power stations – the utilities Eon, RWE, Vattenfall and EnBW – will pick up the tab for decommissioning and dismantling their reactors. But the state will now take over financial responsibility for stor ing the waste they have produced. However, in doing so, it will be reliant on funds provided by the utilities. They have set aside a total of 17.4bn euros to deal with the issue, which they will now transfer into a new state-controlled fund.
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