Bid to block German nuclear shut-down fails

Supreme court rejects Hesse complaints of exclusion from government-industry negotiations

Germany's highest court has vindicated the government's handling of negotiations with the nation's electricity industry on phasing out nuclear power. The ruling brings to a close a case brought in 2000 by the state of Hesse. Hesse had claimed it should have been involved in negotiations, in particular because they also involved discussions over safety upgrades at the state's Biblis A nuclear reactor.

Judges at the supreme constitutional court (BVG) voted six to two today that the so-called nuclear consensus reached in June 2000 between the government and Germany's big power firms had been lawful. It was, the BVG said in a statement, "purely a matter for the federal government" as long as the outcome was not legally binding.

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