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Conflict over nuclear power rages on

DDP/The Local · 8 Aug 2010, 13:47

Published: 08 Aug 2010 13:47 GMT+02:00

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Röttgen favours an extension of only eight years, but he is being defied by the parliamentary faction of his Christian Democratic Union, along with the Economy Ministry and the southern German states, who all want operational lifespans extended by an average of 14 years.

Economic policy spokesman Joachim Pfeiffer said, "Röttgen should recognize that a majority of the party think that a longer lifespan is absolutely necessary to guarantee a safe energy supply."

Röttgen's predecessor, and now head of the opposition Social Democratic Party Sigmar Gabriel, commented, "Either Röttgen is too weak to assert himself against the nuclear-fans in his party, or going back to a nuclear power economy is his personal goal, despite all his sermons." Either way, Gabriel argued, he is not suited to be Environment Minister.

The SPD boss said that if the "hardliners in the parliamentary faction and the states" get their way, Röttgen will have failed completely.

Green party leader Claudia Roth forecast a "very hot autumn" for the coalition if they tried to extend nuclear power lifespans for 14 years. "If you sow atomic wind, then you will reap a people's storm," she said.

Roth predicted that tens of thousands would take to the streets in protest, and millions of voters in 2011 state elections would vote against this "madness." The Green party also promised it would go to the Constitutional Court if the government attempted to bypass the Bundesrat in order to get the necessary legislation through.

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The opposition remains confident that the lack of a majority in the Bundesrat, the upper house of the German parliament, will scupper any chance of an extension.

DDP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

15:17 August 8, 2010 by pepsionice
The funny thing here...is that their neighbor (France), doesn't have any issues with nuclear technology. And in the end....Germans will be forced to buy their power from France and the other nuclear-friendly countries, at a much higher rate, and sit there grumbling about the high cost of power.
18:55 August 8, 2010 by DavidC1

The even funnier thing is that France have had to regularly buy their electricity from Germany and England when heatwaves have knocked out their nuclear reactors.

As for "the high cost of power", France is facing some very hard decisions as their ageing nuclear reactors reach end of life and they realise that it's going to cost them many, many billions more € to replace them than it took to build them in the 70s or 80s - and that's why the French are now investing in wind and solar along with the rest of Europe. The French are also increasing capacity of their grid connection to Spain so they can import the cheap wind power that is produced there.
04:46 August 9, 2010 by theroyprocess
Nuclear power fulfills many agendas. It emits invisible,

ultra-long-lasting, DNA damaging radiation. Everyone

eats, drinks and breaths radioactive fallout since the

first atom bomb "test" in New Mexico, USA, 1945.

So-called "civilian" nuclear power plants are a myth, a

way to grab tax payer money and pay for your own

doomsday. It creates the BIG STICK of political might

All you can do now is minimize exposure by using a

Geiger counter which will be common as a wristwatch.
15:17 August 10, 2010 by Der Grenadier aus Aachen
Isn't it refreshing how we never let little things like facts and scientific evidence stand in our way when we discuss these things? Never mind that we have reactor designs now that are safe enough for a 5 year-old to operate (pebble bed reactors). Never mind that nuclear power is the cheapest and most effective way to power our cities. Never mind that the accidents we caused while becoming the masters of nuclear technology, all put together, don't add up to the amount of pollution we cause globally in a year with other fuel sources. No, never mind all that. Let's bash nuclear power because we're all Neo-Luddites! YAY! GO BREAK A MACHINE!

19:18 August 10, 2010 by christmascorner

one million eh. How many are still living. More coal miners die then those exposed to some form

of radiation. Too much theory and not enough practicality.
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