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default Germany Abandons Nuclear Power

Post by Adrian on 5th April 2011, 11:16 am

Germany will shut down all its nuclear power stations by 2020, according to the government’s Secretary of State for the Environment and Nuclear Safety, Jürgen Becker.

His comments were made earlier today to Reuters during a meeting of the International Renewable Energy Association (IREA) in the United Arab Emirates.

Herr Becker said:

“A decision has been taken to shut down eight plants before the end of this year and they definitely won’t be reactivated. And the remaining nine will be shut down by the end of the decade.”

The news will stun Germany’s main energy suppliers as it will cost them hundred of millions of dollars in expected revenues. It will also have a huge impact on the rest of the European energy sector as several are international players.

The comments fly in the face of public German Government policy, which is that no decision has yet been made about the nuclear power stations’ future following the Fukushima disaster.

It also raises huge questions about the future of Germany’s energy supply. The same IREA meeting heard that Germany had become a net importer of energy from France for the first time this year, and France is considered the most nuclear friendly country in the EU.

Surely it would be daft to simply turn off your own nuclear power in order to import it from another country?

However there is another solution. Back in January, Greenpeace published a report which claimed that 90 percent of European coal and nuclear power could be phased out by 2030.

Maybe, just maybe, the German government is swinging behind it. If not, there could be news of some sackings very soon.

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default Re: Germany Abandons Nuclear Power

Post by Chilli-head on 5th April 2011, 11:38 am

Interesting times. I wonder what will happen here in the UK. After many years of slowly coming round to the idea of new nuclear build - to the point of being resigned to it being the only real option - we have another nuclear disaster.

A couple of weeks ago I was listening to Question Time, where one panelist was berated for portraying nuclear power as inherently dangerous. Well, as a professional engineer, I would say that a reactor that must have power and a functioning cooling system to avoid disaster, even with the control rods fully inserted, sounds pretty inherently dangerous to me. If that is what is considered by this industry to be an acceptable design then I think Herr Becker's plan has a lot to commend it.

Surely it would be daft to simply turn off your own nuclear power in order to import it from another country?

I can't understand this comment. Surely no more daft than importing coal when you have domestic reserves ? Would it be completely irrational to assume Germany would rather the risk of a nuclear accident be taken by France than themselves ?
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default Re: Germany Abandons Nuclear Power

Post by MrsC on 5th April 2011, 1:56 pm

Interesting. Personally I am in favour of nuclear power, or at least I was until recent events in Japan, but I do worry that people will have a knee-jerk reaction to what has happened and make decisions without fully understanding what happened there and taking into account the natural disaster risk in different geographical areas.

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