In a case brought by German utility RWE the administrative court in Leipzig has decided that the shutdown of the two-unit Biblis nuclear plant was illegal.
RWE was ordered to shut down the plant after the March 2011 accident at Fukushima-Daiichi in Japan. Unit A of the plant was ordered to stop working temporarily and Unit B was to close permanently.
The company took its case to the ministry of environment, energy, agriculture and consumer protection of Hessen and last month an administrative court in Kassel ruled that the order to shut down the plant was unlawful. Upon appeal, the federal administrative court in Leipzig has confirmed the decision.
The original shutdown order issued by the ministry lacked the appropriate legal basis, the decision says.
RWE will now calculate the amount of damages it wants to receive and begin proceedings in a civil court.
The court’s decision could potentially apply to the government-ordered shut down of six other nuclear plants in the aftermath of the Fukushima-Daiichi accident.
Other nuclear power plant operators E.On, EnBW and Vattenfall are also claiming damages from their respective state governments.
The Biblis nuclear plant was permanently shut down in August 2011.
Germany has nine commercially operational nuclear reactors and 27 which have been permanently shut down. The country has decided to phase out nuclear power by 2022.