France raises concern over nuke-free Germany

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18 Jun, 2011 Updated Sat 18 Jun 2011 09:47 CEST
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France's Energy Minister Eric Besson is urging the European Commission to consider the knock-on effects of Germany's decision to abandon nuclear power, fearing energy supplies problems, in a letter seen on Friday.

"Our national decisions can have a substantial impact on the balance between electricity demand and supply in other European Union nations," Besson wrote, without referring specifically to Germany's decision to go nuclear-free by 2022.

In the letter addressed to EU energy tsar Günther Oettinger, a copy of which was seen by news agency AFP, Besson said the EU's executive arm should ask the European electricity grid managers to analyse the national consequences of the decision in the short-, medium- and long-term.

Besson also calls for an alert cell to be set up "capable to react to all critical situations this summer".

Prompted by Japan's Fukushima disaster, Chancellor Angela Merkel's cabinet this month signed a package of bills that foresee Europe's biggest economy being nuclear-free by 2022 - at a faster pace than previously envisaged.

Germany's nine reactors currently on line are due to be turned off between 2015 and 2022.

The seven oldest reactors were taken off-line after Japan's massive March 11 earthquake and a tsunami knocked out cooling systems at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, causing reactors to overheat and radiation to be released.

Some EU nations have since reproached Berlin for not consulting its European partners before announcing the decision.

The German move could have particular consequences for France which imports electricity from its neighbour.




2011/06/18 09:47

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