E.ON AG, Germany's largest utility, will seek around €8 billion ($9.99 billion) in damages from the German government for accelerating the phase-out of nuclear energy in the country.
E.ON and rival RWE, which formed a joint venture called Horizon Nuclear Power to develop new nuclear power stations in the UK, had filed a case in Germany's highest court challenging the government decision to close 8 of its 17 nuclear reactors last year and brought forward a final phase-out from 2036 to 2022.
E.ON and RWE already jointly own three nuclear power stations in Germany and have stakes in 17 others around the world.
This week the court plans to ask several institutions, including the BDI industry association for their views of the government and other stakeholders about the validity of the claims made by both the utilities.
Both the utilities argue that since German nuclear power plants comply with all relevant safety requirements, there are no legal grounds for decommissioning them. In taking the legal step of appealing against the decomissioning, both companies are seeking to protect the interests of its shareholders.
E.ON and RWE say that they are being forced to shut their reactors before they reach the end of their economic lives, and the utilities have been saying for months that they would sue the government, but were unable to come out with a figure.