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Germany

German government risks nuclear revolt with plans for further tax

Germany's nuclear providers will see some of their profits go towards investment in renewable energy, thanks to a government levy. The nuclear industry is already contesting planned taxes against it.

The Kruemmel nuclear power plant in Geesthacht, near Hamburg

Merkel's coalition plans to keep the lights on at Germany's nuclear plants past 2020

The German government is preparing to impose a further charge on the nation's nuclear industry, in addition to the planned fuel rod tax.

"There will be a charge - yes, even on top of the fuel rod tax," Hermann Groehe, general secretary of Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrat party, said on Monday.

Speaking after a meeting of the CDU presidium, Groehe said there was popular consent within the party that the nuclear industry should make a stronger contribution to investment in renewable energy sources.

Groehe said that the method of levying funds would not yet be clear, but that the tax would be "substantial."

Germany's nuclear power providers stand to benefit from coalition plans to extend the lifetime of nuclear plants past the 2020 deadline set by Gerhard Schroeder's government.

Chancellor Merkel defended the planned fuel rod tax, worth 2.3 billion euros ($2.9 billion) per year from 2011, in an interview with the Bild am Sonntag weekly newspaper. Several of Germany's energy giants had reacted with outrage after hearing of the proposals.

Government spokesman Stefen Seibert confirmed on Monday that final details of the energy plan will be worked out by the end of September.

Author: Thomas Sheldrick (dpa/AFP)
Editor: Rob Turner

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