Skip to main content

German Nuclear Update

German Prime Minister Angela Merkel is taking the gloves off when it comes to the phase-out of nuclear energy in her country:
In a speech to a party rally in Wiesbaden, Merkel went further than before to criticise her junior coalition partners, the Social Democrats, for their refusal to reconsider laws requiring German producers to shut down nuclear plants by 2020.

"I consider it to be wrong that we're turning off our nuclear plants only because that is what was agreed," Merkel said. "The bad news is, however, the Social Democrats consider that to be important," she added.

Merkel said the conservatives could still push for a review of the phase-out.

"No one can prevent us from discussing the topic of energy anymore. We're facing challenges and need to develop strategies to ensure our energy supplies over the years ahead," she said.

Nuclear power currently supplies a third of German electricity. Opinion polls regularly show the vast majority of the public opposed to any further extension of nuclear power.
I like that last paragraph, don't you? It makes it sound as if Merkel is proposing some massive nuclear building program, when all she's really talking about is keeping all energy options open -- and that means not hamstringing the German economy by phasing out virtually all of its emission-free generating capacity.

If Merkel is able to shed her current partners in the German coalition government in a susequent election, the phase-out will be history.

Technorati tags: , , , , , , ,

Comments

Dezakin said…
The german phaseout of nuclear power is one of the most ridiculous attempts to legislate against reality I've seen. They are signing up for kyoto, phasing out nuclear power, and attempting to grow the german economy. It sounds like good electricity export from France to me.

Popular posts from this blog

How Nanomaterials Can Make Nuclear Reactors Safer and More Efficient

The following is a guest post from Matt Wald, senior communications advisor at NEI. Follow Matt on Twitter at @MattLWald.

From the batteries in our cell phones to the clothes on our backs, "nanomaterials" that are designed molecule by molecule are working their way into our economy and our lives. Now there’s some promising work on new materials for nuclear reactors.

Reactors are a tough environment. The sub atomic particles that sustain the chain reaction, neutrons, are great for splitting additional uranium atoms, but not all of them hit a uranium atom; some of them end up in various metal components of the reactor. The metal is usually a crystalline structure, meaning it is as orderly as a ladder or a sheet of graph paper, but the neutrons rearrange the atoms, leaving some infinitesimal voids in the structure and some areas of extra density. The components literally grow, getting longer and thicker. The phenomenon is well understood and designers compensate for it with a …

Missing the Point about Pennsylvania’s Nuclear Plants

A group that includes oil and gas companies in Pennsylvania released a study on Monday that argues that twenty years ago, planners underestimated the value of nuclear plants in the electricity market. According to the group, that means the state should now let the plants close.

Huh?

The question confronting the state now isn’t what the companies that owned the reactors at the time of de-regulation got or didn’t get. It’s not a question of whether they were profitable in the '80s, '90s and '00s. It’s about now. Business works by looking at the present and making projections about the future.

Is losing the nuclear plants what’s best for the state going forward?

Pennsylvania needs clean air. It needs jobs. And it needs protection against over-reliance on a single fuel source.


What the reactors need is recognition of all the value they provide. The electricity market is depressed, and if electricity is treated as a simple commodity, with no regard for its benefit to clean air o…

Why America Needs the MOX Facility

If Isaiah had been a nuclear engineer, he’d have loved this project. And the Trump Administration should too, despite the proposal to eliminate it in the FY 2018 budget.

The project is a massive factory near Aiken, S.C., that will take plutonium from the government’s arsenal and turn it into fuel for civilian power reactors. The plutonium, made by the United States during the Cold War in a competition with the Soviet Union, is now surplus, and the United States and the Russian Federation jointly agreed to reduce their stocks, to reduce the chance of its use in weapons. Over two thousand construction workers, technicians and engineers are at work to enable the transformation.

Carrying Isaiah’s “swords into plowshares” vision into the nuclear field did not originate with plutonium. In 1993, the United States and Russia began a 20-year program to take weapons-grade uranium out of the Russian inventory, dilute it to levels appropriate for civilian power plants, and then use it to produce…