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Berlin reportedly keeping all nuclear plants online

DDP/DPA/The Local · 23 Jan 2010, 13:23

Published: 23 Jan 2010 13:23 GMT+01:00

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The two older reactors scheduled to be taken offline in the near future, Biblis A in Hesse and Neckarwestheim I in Baden-Württemberg, will remain operational until the current government finalizes its general energy program, expected in October.

The move appears to be another step in reversing a 2001 plan passed by Germany's Social Democratic-Green party government under Gerhard Schröder to eventually phase out nuclear power in Germany.

According to the media report, energy companies are using something of an accounting trick to enable the plants to stay online: unused allocations of electricity from newer plants will be transferred to the Biblis and Neckarwestheim facilities.

The federal government met with the country's top four energy providers on in Berlin on Thursday about possibly extending the life spans of nuclear power plants. While the government played down the meeting as "routine," anti-nuclear activists protested throughout the day. Although atomic energy would help Germany meet its commitments to cut carbon emissions, it remains widely unpopular in the country.

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For utility companies, allowing nuclear power plants to remain operational for longer is in their financial interest. The LBBW bank calculated that at a megawatt-hour price of €80, the four largest utilities stand to earn some €233 billion if nuclear plants are allowed to remain operational for another 25 years.

DDP/DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

16:23 January 23, 2010 by Frenemy
Does this somehow come as a surprise to some people or what??

The Russians aren't playing ball (in terms of Western-European energy requirements), and Germany is pathologically opposed (politically) to fossil-fuel consumption.

Keeping those reactors online is the only logical option (recourse) in the matter...
17:00 January 23, 2010 by cklb
Financially it make sense in the short term to give those reactors additional running time. Out of security reasons I am, however oposed to it. It needed the German Atomic Enegy Authority a few decades to note some missing bolts in one of the generators, so I doubt that the reactors themselve are a absolutly secure machinery. Furthermore the Asse II (nuclear waste storage site) is known to be leaky and possibly will contaminate the drinking water sooner or later.

In order to protect the people in Gemany in the long run, get the hell out of nuclear energy! And as Germans are rather painstaking in what they do this applies to other contries in the world even more..
01:36 January 24, 2010 by cyberclark
The US has already extended the operating license on most of its nuclear plants. This speaks well for the durability of the plant design.

It is really good the German executive can work past all the misinformation given out by the opponents of nuclear. Their much publicized leukemia next to power plant "study" did not say they were also in line to the God Awful Chernobyl cloud.

So not to be misquoted, the Chernobyl design should never have happened and wold not be used in any state in the world today.
03:04 January 24, 2010 by Davey-jo
This is good news.
06:32 January 24, 2010 by Der Grenadier aus Aachen
Thank goodness. Pound for pound, nuclear energy is still the safest, cleanest, and most effective method we know of for generating power.
09:32 January 24, 2010 by aceroni
Nuclear energy production waste is polluting, but shutting down functioning reactors would have been complete nonsense has would have increase energy production by coal (which almost is even shittier than uranium when compared the quantity you need per kwh).

I really hope that the Desertec plan to build solar power station in the Sahara will get financing and start soon with actual construction, so that we don't need coal and nuclear anymore in Europe.
11:35 January 24, 2010 by Frenemy

I'm not in the energy business (so this is a very honest question): Do you know how the energy is supposed to be transmitted to Europe from north Africa? (ie. terrestrial or "other"?)
15:36 January 24, 2010 by mixxim
unless every german is to have his own personal windmill this seems to be the answer.
05:13 February 20, 2010 by hame_B
Protect Germans against nuclear weapon or even its waste. This will be hazardous to many people. The Obama nuclear agenda apparently consists of more than just dealing with Iran ­ Obama wants a nuclear power plant or two built. He and the Department of Energy have just agreed to underwrite and guarantee loans in excess of $8 billion (it takes more than a few payday loans to build a power plant) for the construction of two new power plants in Georgia, both capable of generating over 1100 MWe each (so that's about 2,200 MWe total), on a couple thousand acres. By contrast, a wind power plant takes up almost 100,000 acres to produce less than 800 MWe. 1 MWe is about the equivalent amount of energy (irrespective of watt hours) used powering 1000 homes.
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