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Nuclear power will 'never return' to Germany
Photo: DPA

Nuclear power will 'never return' to Germany

Published: 04 Jan 2013 11:00 GMT+01:00
Updated: 04 Jan 2013 11:00 GMT+01:00

German Environment Minister Peter Altmaier said on Friday his country would never return to nuclear energy, hitting back at a top EU official who doubted Berlin's commitment to phase out nuclear power.

"I cannot see any plausible political line-up that would enable a revival of nuclear power in Germany," Altmaier told Friday's edition of the Leipziger Volkszeitung regional daily.

After the 2011 Fukushima disaster in Japan, Germany embarked on an ambitious "energy revolution", deciding to phase out its nuclear power plants by the end of 2022 and bolster renewable sources of energy such as solar and wind power.

But concerns have mounted that this would entail a sharp rise in electricity prices amid difficulties in building a network able to transmit energy from the North Sea coast to the energy-hungry south of the country.

The European Union's Energy Commissioner, Günther Oettinger, told Monday's edition of the Rheinische Post regional daily that there would "still be nuclear power on the German network in 40 years."

He said there were still 140 nuclear power stations in Europe and that nuclear fusion technology was progressing rapidly. "Maybe this technology will one day be accepted in Germany," said Oettinger, who is himself German.

Altmaier also vowed to meet the deadline of finding a permanent national storage site for nuclear waste by 2030, despite continued feet-dragging and prolonged negotiations on a regional and national level.

"We are together looking country-wide," he said, adding that the search would be accelerated this year. The search would be "co-financed and jointly carried out" by Germany's nuclear energy companies, said Altmaier.

But environmentalists accused the government of plotting to dispose of German nuclear waste abroad, where safety requirements may be more lax.

According to a report in the Süddeutsche Zeitung on Friday, the government is preparing a change to the law which would legalize the export of nuclear waste to a third country.

The Environment Ministry insists the government is still planning on disposing of highly radioactive nuclear waste within Germany's borders, yet environmentalists have questioned this in the face of the new legislation.

Environment group Deutsche Umwelthilfe said the new legislation "does not conform with the [EU's] intention to prioritize domestic disposal," in a statement on Friday.

The amended law would require an agreement between Germany and a third country, and for disposal sites abroad to meet strict safety requirements, wrote the paper.

AFP/The Local/jlb

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

13:00 January 4, 2013 by whiteriver
"I cannot see any plausible political line-up (...)"

Mr. Altmaier couldn't see because there were no lights once the electricity was off.

(ha ha haaaa)
13:08 January 4, 2013 by chicagolive
I guess he is blind with electricity prices already going up and projected by some source to jump by more that 40% especially in the south. Where by the way the economic engine of Germany is lets see what happens when more German companies start taking more services abroad because it cost to much to keep the lights on, then we will see what he says. Nobody sees in the next 30 years renewable being able to provide sufficient energy unless some mega break through happens.
13:27 January 4, 2013 by lucksi
Nuclear power is and will always be used in Germany.

Nuclear power stations on the other hand...
13:45 January 4, 2013 by pepsionice
It's easy to be this stupid....you just buy your atomic power from France or the Ukraine. Pretty simple in the end....you can't generate enough power.....you pay thirty percent more for someone else to do it. Only the most naive would believe otherwise.
00:03 January 5, 2013 by HHW38
Congratulations to Germany for making the right decision to not use dangerous and dirty nuclear energy.

At least Germany has learned the lesson from Japan's nuclear meltdowns.

If you have doubts about the dangers of nuclear energy, read the Free on-line book "The Code Killers" by Ace Hoffman

and

read the headlines on this highly recommended site:

E N E N E W S . c o m
03:30 January 5, 2013 by Uncle B
Solar, Wind Wave Hydro, Tidal, Geothermal, anaerobic sewage digestion, bio-mass, Algae - diesel, all renewable = perpetual = eternal, domestic, clean, energy. No refuelling needed, no waste disposal costs, no decommissioning expenses.

Altering lifestyles to adapt to what you have, just sane. Sustainable housing with super insulations beyond the Areogel miracle allowed the U.S. to go to the Moon? Where are these insulations now? When will they be sold to the world from the greedy pockets? Reduce heating/cooling costs for the peons? IBM has a new Miracle Battery. See: IBM Air/lithium batteries. (http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/143750-the-top-tech-and-science-breakthroughs-of-2012/10) Will this make valuable Ballast in electric cars, for existing electric grids, Intermittant Wind and Solar sources? Canada's University of Alberta and lotus engineers build car bodies from laminated and molded Hemp now, for lighter, cheaper, rust proof, durable, replaceable, interchangeable, C02 sequestering qualities. U.S. forbids their import? is this a "False Flag Tariff Wall"? A trade barrier? a 'Protectionist Policy in a free trade Global village? U.S. F-35 fighters sold to NATO members will have mostly Chinese sub assemblies? Even jet engines? Are "Monkey Models", not the real thing? U.S. lacks Energy resources, manpower, to build them at home? They neglected the perpetual energy sources? Uranium for their reactors scarce now, scarcer soon enough, and with prices rising now at eponential rates on world markets, even in the face of the Fuckoshima disaster? Radiation sicknesses from Chernobyl, hush-hushed, white-washed by Great Corporate American Propaganda Whores and their corporately controlled media? Even American radiation limits raised substanially? Radiation "Detectors" on West coast of U.S., Canada, shut down after Fuckoshima? U.S. West Caost find tuna there with highest radiation levels ever, inedible in U.S.? Germany on the right track!
09:03 January 5, 2013 by DocEllis
Thanks you Germany. doc
17:59 January 5, 2013 by raandy
Uncle B :-)
10:05 January 6, 2013 by notelove2
Why aren't they spending that money on ways to safely dispose of the waste instead of just looking for new places to bury it?????
13:15 January 8, 2013 by truth is treason
Nuclear energy will return but not using the Nuclear weapon grade produce waste we use now. The current versions of the Nuclear designed power stations are based on the waste left over being refine to produce Nuclear weapons. If thorium nuclear energy stations are build then we can have safe Nuclear power. China is now building these types of reactor again another industry given away.

Get the ecomentalist to champion this type of energy and save Germany.

Look on this link: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/ambroseevans_pritchard/9784044/China-blazes-trail-for-clean-nuclear-power-from-thorium.html
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