• Germany's news in English

Schavan withholds nuclear energy study

The Local · 16 Sep 2009, 17:00

Published: 16 Sep 2009 17:00 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

With less than two weeks before Germans head to the polls, the paper reported that Schavan, a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative Christian Democrats (CDU), has been concealing the controversial study, in which almost 100 scientists recommend building new nuclear reactors.

The study, titled “Concept for an Integrated Energy Research Programme for Germany,” was commissioned by Schavan herself, but the findings delivered in July are not planned for publication until October – after the election.

The CDU and its preferred coalition partner, the pro-business Free Democrats, are in favour of extending the use of nuclear energy past the government cut-off date of 2020. But both parties have shied away from the unpopular issue during their election campaign.

In a debate against her Social Democratic opponent for the chancellorship, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Merkel called atomic energy a “bridge technology” to the planned phase-out.

But scientists who took part in the study called for more than just an extension of current nuclear reactor use, the paper reported. They call for the implementation of new technology already used in the US, UK and France, which has increased security and efficiency.

“Depending on political and social conditions, Germany could engage in the further development and construction of new nuclear power plants to cover a considerable portion of energy needs with nuclear energy,” the document attained by Financial Times Deutschland said. While noting indisputable risks that come with nuclear energy, the scientists call it a cost-effective way to power the country without carbon dioxide emissions.

The study also recommended that Germany seek out a new location to replace the controversial Gorleben nuclear waste depot, which has been in the news frequently in recent weeks amid allegations about the former salt mine’s safety shortcomings and illegal development.

Scientists write that studies from France, Belgium and Switzerland already show that argillaceous rock formations are suitable. But Schavan has already spoken out against finding a new storage facility.

Story continues below…

“Schavan’s reluctance is easy to explain,” the paper concluded. “Most of these formations are in Baden-Württemberg, the political home of the minister.”

Nuclear energy is deeply unpopular in Germany and activists often stage protests at Gorleben, which is in the German state of Lower Saxony. The government has approved plans to get rid of its reactors by 2020. But high energy costs and greenhouse gas concerns have the CDU and FDP second-guessing the plans.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Creepy clown scare spreads to Germany
Two of the clowns were apparently equipped with chainsaws. Photo: Pedro Pardo / AFP file picture

Police said Friday five incidents involving so-called scary clowns had occurred in two north German town, including one assailant who hit a man with a baseball bat, amid fears that Halloween could spark a rash of similar attacks.

Student fined for spying on women via their webcams
Photo: DPA

Student from Munich fined €1,000 for spying on 32 different computers, using their webcams to take photographs, or record their keyboard history.

This is how much startup geeks earn in Germany
Photo: DPA

A comprehensive new survey of 143 startup founders shows how much you are likely to be earning at a German startup, from entry level all the way up to sitting on the board.

Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

The Local List
Seven German celebrities with uncanny doppelgängers
Former Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and actor Alec Baldwin. Photo: DPA; Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Check out these seven look-a-likes of well known German figures - we admit that some are more tenuous than others...

Israel seeks to buy three new German submarines: report
A Dolphin class submarine. Photo: DPA

Israel is seeking to buy three more advanced submarines from Germany at a combined price of €1.2 billion, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.

Here’s where people live the longest in Germany
Photo: DPA

Germans down south seem to know the secret to a long life.

More Germans identify as LGBT than in rest of Europe
Photo: DPA

The percentage of the German population which identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is higher than anywhere else in Europe, according to a new study.

'Reichsbürger' pair attack police in Saxony-Anhalt
File photo: DPA.

A "Reichsbürger" and his wife attacked police officers on Thursday, just a day after another Reichsbürger fatally shot an officer in Bavaria.

Five things not to miss at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Photo: DPA

From consulting a book doctor to immersing yourself in an author's world with the help of virtual reality, here are five things not to miss at this week's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest publishing event.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd