Legislative developments in Germany Germany flag

General legislation

Amendment to the Atomic Energy Act extending the operating lifetime of nuclear power plants (2010)

On 8 December 2010, the German President signed into law the 11th Act to Amend the Atomic Energy Act which will extend the operating lifetime of the 17 nuclear power plants in Germany for an average of twelve years. The German Bundestag (lower house) had passed the act on 28 October and on 26 November 2010, the Bundesrat, the upper house of the German parliament, held that the act does not require its approval.

This amendment will allow that nuclear power plants built before 1980 operate for approximately eight years longer than set in the so called 2002 phase-out law (see Supplement to Nuclear Law Bulletin No. 70). The newer reactors will be allowed to operate approximately fourteen years longer than envisaged in 2002.

Within the same legislative procedure the parliament adopted three further acts which the President signed on the same day:

First, the 12th Act to Amend the Atomic Energy Act which implements Council Directive 2009/71/Euratom of 25 June 2009 establishing a Community framework for the nuclear safety of nuclear installations.

Secondly, parliament adopted the Nuclear Fuel Tax Act which obliges the operators of nuclear power plants to pay an annual fuel tax, starting in 2011, for the use of the fuels uranium 233 and 235 and plutonium 239 and 241. The obligation arises once a specific matter of fuel is used in the reactor leading to a self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction.

Finally, according to the Act Establishing the Special “Energy and Climate Fund” the income from these taxes will flow into this special fund.

Related links

Nuclear Legislation in OECD Countries: Germany
Regulatory and Institutional Framework for Nuclear Activities
Each country profile in this valuable reference work provides a detailed review of a full range of nuclear law topics. These include: the general regulatory regime, including mining; radioactive substances and equipment; nuclear installations; trade in nuclear materials; radiation protection; radioactive waste management; non-proliferation and physical protection; transport; and nuclear third party liability. This profile was last updated in 2008.

Nuclear facts and figures for OECD countries
Number of nuclear units connected to the grid; Nuclear electricity generation (net TWh); Nuclear percentage of total electricity supply.

IEA energy statistics: Germany

Related NEA publications

Nuclear Energy Data
Nuclear Energy Data is the NEA’s annual compilation of essential statistics on electricity generation and nuclear power in OECD countries. The reader will have quick and easy reference to the status of and projected trends in total electricity generating capacity, nuclear generating capacity, and actual electricity production, as well as to supply and demand for nuclear fuel cycle services.

Last updated: 6 January 2011