The GdF-Suez group has confirmed it will take the Belgian government to court to try to get the annual 'contribution' levied against the country's nuclear operators annulled.
|Belgium's Tihange nuclear plant (Image: Electrabel)
GdF-Suez said in a statement that it had paid its €213 million ($307 million) 'contribution' for 2008 on 31 December 2009 as required by Belgian law. The sum for 2009 has now been set at €250 million ($361 million). The company said the charge would be contestable in court particularly because it is "discriminatory", hitting only the three nuclear power producers in Belgium.
"The group … explicitly confirms its intention to apply to the Constitutional Court with a request for nullification," GdF-Suez concluded.
Belgium has two operating nuclear power stations with a total of seven reactors, which between them produce over half the country's electricity. GdF-Suez operates all seven units through its Electrabel subsidiary. This owns three of the units outright as well as 89.8% of another three (the remaining 10.2% being held by SPE). Electrabel jointly owns the remaining unit with Electricité de France (EdF). So, although a levy against nuclear producers hits all three companies, Electrabel bears the brunt of the charge.
GdF-Suez had already voiced its opposition to the 2008 charge, which was announced as a one-off payment. However, last year the Belgian government said it would postpone its planned nuclear phaseout but would charge nuclear operators an annual tax of €215 to 245 million ($310-353 million) over the period 2010-2014.
Researched and written
by World Nuclear News