June 1, 2016 / 8:42 AM / 2 years ago

German cabinet approves state fund for nuclear storage costs

BERLIN (Reuters) - Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cabinet approved a draft law on Wednesday that adopted recommendations requiring Germany’s utilities to pay 23.3 billion euros ($25.98 billion) into a state fund to cover the costs of storing nuclear waste, government sources said.

The new law will also close a loophole to ensure that if companies split up, they will still remain liable towards the newly established state fund, the sources said.

A 19-member commission recommended in late April that Germany’s “big four” power firms - E.ON, RWE, EnBW and Vattenfall - pay a total 23.3 billion euros ($26 billion) to remove unwanted long-term liability for the storage of nuclear waste.

The legacy costs stem from Germany’s decision to end nuclear power by 2022 following Japan’s Fukushima disaster five years ago.

($1 = 0.8967 euros)

Reporting by Caroline Copley; Editing by Paul Carrel

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