Five German federal states have filed a legal complaint against the government's decision to extend the operational life times of nuclear power plants, arguing that they were not consulted in the process.
According to ICIS Heren, the states of Berlin, Brandenburg, Bremen, North Rhine-Westphalia and Rheinland-Pfalz have filed a complaint at the German Constitutional Court because of the decision to extend the lives of the country's 17 nuclear reactors by an average of 12 years has not been approved by the Bundesrat, the German upper house, according to a statement from Becker Buettner Held, the legal firm representing the states.
The Bundesrat represents the interests of Germany's 16 federal states. According to local media reports, the Social Democrats (SPD) and the Greens Party will launch separate legal complaints at the constitutional court, claiming the government's decision was unconstitutional and should have been approved by the Bundesrat.
However, last November, the Bundesrat decided not to object to the nuclear life extensions, rubber-stamping the government's decision.
The German government extended the lives of the 17 reactors in September as part of the country's new energy concept. However, the controversy surrounding the decision does not end with the Bundesrat's decision, as the four nuclear power plant operators also are considering taking legal action against the government because of the EUR2.3bn ($3.2bn) tax they will have to pay in return for longer nuclear lives.
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