Germany gives nuke plant operators $2.9B for early shutdown

The German government has agreed with four utility companies that they will receive about $2.9 billion in compensation for the early shutdown of their nuclear power plants

BERLIN -- The German government said Friday it has agreed with four utility companies that they will receive a combined 2.4 billion euros ($2.9 billion) in compensation for the early shutdown of their nuclear power plants.

Germany is on course to phase out the use of nuclear power by the end of 2022. Six nuclear power plants that are still in use will need to be shut down before the end of their original operating life.

Some utility companies have sued the German government, arguing they should receive significant compensation for lost investments and the electricity they can't generate from the plants due to the early shutdown .

In return, the companies will have to drop all lawsuits, including a case that Vattenfall brought before a Washington-based international arbitration panel.