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Nuclear goldmine

The German government has its eye on the tax free reserves of cash held by nuclear power station operators. Totalling some DEM 54 billion, the reserves could yield a tax revenue of DEM 3.3 billion annually over the next three years. Access to them is not without its difficulties, though. The Social Democrat premier of Lower Saxony, Gerhard Schroeder, suggests a compromise: instead of risking an expensive court battle, nuclear utilities should volunteer to invest DEM 2.5 billion in wind and solar. In return the federal government would withdraw its fingers from their coffers. No utility has yet responded to this invitation.

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