A court in Germany has ruled against the state of Hesse for ordering the shutdown of the Biblis nuclear power plant in 2011, following the Fukushima incident.
The decision by the Leipzig Federal Administrative Court means the state will have to pay substantive damages to RWE (FWB: RWE).
The court found that the temporary closure of Unit A and the final shutdown of the block B were not lawful. The two Biblis units were later permanently removed from the network, after the federal government had decided the final phase out of nuclear power.
Last year, Hesse Administrative Court said the order had been illegal because RWE had no opportunity to respond properly. The decision has been reinforced by the higher court.
When taking the matter to court in 2011, RWE had argued that the reactors were safe so the state had no reason to disrupt its energy generating activities. The company also said the state of Hesse had no legal authority to order it to close the Biblis nuclear plant.
"According to RWE's legal interpretation, the government has no grounds to its legal basis to take measures according to paragraph 19 of nuclear law," RWE said in a statement at the time.
The Biblis plant was shut down as part of an industry-wide moratorium after German Chancellor Angela Merkel ordered additional safety checks on Germany's seven oldest nuclear power plants following the crisis in Japan.
RWE asserted after the ruling that it will now look to claim for damages at civil proceedings.
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