Stories appearing that Germany's constitutional court has ruled that a tax levied on nuclear fuel rods from 2011 was "unconstitutional and void" meaning the government must refund utilities operating nuclear plants billions of euros.
Following the Fukushima nuclear accident in 2011 Germany decided to phase out its nuclear program by 2022 and a fuel rod tax requiring firms to pay 145 euros per gram of nuclear fuel each time they exchanged a fuel rod was imposed. Fuel rod exchange usually happens twice a year and the total bill to utilities that operate nuclear since the tax was imposed is estimated to be over 6 billion euros -- a "colossal irritation" according to the German environment minister Barbara Hendricks.
This is particularly true as the EU's court of justice deemed the fuel rod tax legal just last year. Observers are noting that the ruling marks a significant victory for utilities that have been opposed to Germany's nuclear phase out policy.
A Bloomberg story referred to the tax as a "blunder" by Chancellor Angela Merkel and a "low point" in her administration that handed her opponents "a stick to beat her with in an election year."