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Decommissioning and Waste Disposal Fund
Annual contributions set to rise
Bern (ots) - The Federal Council has enacted an amendment to the parameters for calculating contributions to the Decommissioning and Waste Disposal Fund as part of a revision of the Stilllegungs- und Entsorgungsfondsverordnung (SEFV; Ordinance on the Decommissioning and Waste Disposal Fund). The decision means that BKW will have to pay much higher contributions to the fund.
As part of the revision of the Ordinance on the Decommissioning and Waste Disposal Fund (SEFV), the Federal Council has, among other things, amended the assumptions used to calculate contributions to the Decommissioning and Waste Disposal Fund concerning inflation and return on investment, and introduced an uncertainty allowance. The new parameters stipulate a general inflation rate of 1.5% (previously 3.5%), a return on investment of 3.5% (previously 5%) and a new uncertainty allowance of 30%. BKW rejects the introduction of an uncertainty allowance in particular. The current model for calculating contributions to the Decommissioning and Waste Disposal Fund has proven to be reliable. It ensures that the required funds will be available at the time of decommissioning of a plant. Detailed, technically justified cost estimates will be carried out every five years. If these analyses indicate that additional costs are to be expected, the contributions will be increased accordingly. This ensures that the risks of a cost increase are taken into consideration in an appropriate manner.
Application of the uncertainty allowance will lead to high additional payments to the government fund. For the Mühleberg nuclear power plant, BKW expects to have to pay a total of around CHF 500 million between 2015 and 2022 instead of CHF 240 million. Annual contributions are expected to increase from around CHF 30 million to around CHF 60 million. The changes enacted by the Federal Council are disproportionate and place an unncessary burden on BKW. An upcoming review will indicate whether this amendment is compatible with the constitutional principles of legality and commensurability. BKW will take legal action if necessary.
BKW stands by its commitment to ensure sufficient financial resources and to set aside relevant provisions for decommissioning and disposal. It has already implemented the required measures to achieve this. The high uncertainty allowance passed by the Federal Council has no factual basis and has been chosen arbitrarily. It only takes into account negative developments and does not take account of potential technology-driven cost reductions.
The adaptations are politically motivated, lack any factual basis and come at an extremely difficult time for the sector. The extensive state subsidies for new renewable energies have caused electricity market prices to fall, resulting in an extremely challenging economic environment for the energy companies. Furthermore, the majority of costs for disposing of nuclear waste will only be incurred in around fifty years' time. It is therefore difficult to comprehend that in this difficult situation, new, additional finanical burdens that have no basis in fact are to be imposed on energy supply companies. These factually unjustified increases in contributions will deprive BKW of the financial resouces needed to implement its strategy and the Federal Council's energy strategy.
The statements contained in this press release constitute expectations and forward-looking statements. Because these statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, actual future results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by the expectations and statements. This press release is issued in German, French, English and Italian. The German version is authoritative.
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