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Nuclear reactor not to be kept on stand-by

The Local · 31 Aug 2011, 17:10

Published: 31 Aug 2011 17:10 GMT+02:00

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The president of the authority, Matthias Kurth, announced the decision on Wednesday in Berlin, promising that other types of power stations would be able to provide extra electricity.

Four power stations - in Mannheim, Wiesbaden, Ensdorf and Munich - have been designated back-up stations for the winter. These gas and coal power stations together have a capacity of 1,009 megawatts per day, which is estimated to be enough to cover unexpected demand.

Reserves of 1,075 megawatts are also ready to be imported from Austria. But Kurth emphasized, “If we have a mild winter, we might not have to use a single one of these power stations.”

The Ensdorf power station will be put on the grid permanently in the future in any event, as it has been taken over by energy company VSE and leased to steel manufacturer Saarstahl. The network authority said this deal meant that the overall energy shortfall would be smaller than predicted.

But Kurth warned that there was still a risk of power shortfall. “It is clear that the use of reserve power carries risks for guaranteeing supply,” he said.

Kurth also called on nuclear power opponents to help inform the public about the need to build new conventional power stations and expand the electricity grid. “These two things are just as important for our transition to other energy sources as shutting down nuclear power,” he said. “Otherwise Germany will never make it.”

Economics Minister Philipp Rösler welcomed the agency’s decision. “This is an important signal for the companies, that they can rely on a guaranteed energy supply,” he said.

But environment organizations were reserved. The Friends of the Earth Germany (BUND) and the Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU) welcomed the decision not to turn any of the nuclear power stations back on, but warned of damaging carbon dioxide emissions from coal power stations.

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The two pressure groups called for an acceleration in the development of renewable energy sources and more state effort in energy conservation.

The opposition centre-left Social Democratic Party called the decision a political defeat for Rösler's Free Democratic Party, junior partner in the ruling centre-right coalition, which had called for one nuclear power station to be kept on stand-by in reserve.

DAPD/The Local/bk

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

17:55 August 31, 2011 by neunElf
The government is so skilled and adept at managing the economy, now they are micro-managing the energy supply.

I suggest it may be a good time to stock up on blankets, before the great blanket shortage this winter!
20:07 August 31, 2011 by Englishted
A fool and is power are soon parted .
22:53 August 31, 2011 by DOZ
Germany's Non-Nuclear Vision is driving Canadians crazy. Please keep it up, as it's the only thing that brings sunshine to my day, due to all those Pesky Rodents and Beavers.
23:48 August 31, 2011 by pepsionice
The worst that can happen....is that some power shortage occurs, and you go without power for five to ten hours. Folks in Nigeria and Panama accept this as normal and Germans can get used to the same situation. If you thought power was a major deal.....then say something to your local politicians or just get used to power out once or twice a week. It's real simple in the end.
01:53 September 1, 2011 by krautrock
Very cool. The great economic superpower, Germany, will become similar to Panama and Nigeria in few months. What a progress!

For sure people will dance in the streets to show their happiness.
06:09 September 1, 2011 by crunchy2k
The posts so far show an intelligence level above the politicians. Germany will be at the mercy of the Ukraine and Russia for natural gas to produce electricity in the coming years. The imaginary CO2 banking concept will put German ever more behind the economic 8 ball.
07:24 September 1, 2011 by ChrisRea
@ crunchy2k #6

"The imaginary CO2 banking concept will put German ever more behind the economic 8 ball."

Yes, indeed, Germany is performing poorly from the economy point of view. All the other EU countries, plus the rest of the countries in the world, have to subsidize Germany. High unemployment, nonexistent exports and the biggest national debt - that's Germany. Wait, it is actually the other way round. But some posters try to bash the country even if the truth is far from their side.
09:25 September 1, 2011 by rfwilson
A capacity of 1009 megawatts PER DAY???

Someone is ignorant about basic electrical power units.

In fact, these power stations have a capacity of 1009 megawatts...PERIOD! Power is measured in Watts, not Watts per Day!
09:29 September 1, 2011 by JDee
Giving the Atom-Kraft nein Danke brigade what they want while playing devil's advocate could be a smart move if there are power cuts this winter. I noticed that many of the AKND brigade are what you would call traditional SPD/CDU fodder, the kindof good job, nice car driving, bio food eating types. Conversely you have a minority of people such as myself who didn't have a problem with nuclear as a necessary bridging technology despite being green leaning, in line with the opinions of scientific green leaders such as James Lovelock.

As with everything in this topic the solutions need to be demand rather than supply orientated. Rather than build more coal/gas powered stations distribute the money as grants for home insulation / refurbishment towards passive goals, 100% if need be. It will create jobs, will create a lasting legacy and increase the inherent wealth of the country.
09:33 September 1, 2011 by The-ex-pat
And my wife thought I was barking mad when I bought a little petrol generator for a one off job. She has regularly complained about the space it takes up in the cellar and mentioned ebay several times. I think I will leave it just where it is.................

On a more seriousness note @ pepsionice, we are not in Nigeria and Panama, we are in a country that requires 24 hour power. You cannot compare the infrastructure of two almost third world countries to that of a European country and say we will get used to it. The simplest of tasks that are of a very important nature will become impossible for hours per day. The first thing that comes to mind, filling your car up for example. After your 10 hour power cut, can you imagine the queuing. Then add in to that, that everyone will brim the tank because you will not know when the next cut will be. Pretty much what happened with the E10 c#ckup, fuel shortages followed. So now we have power cuts and regional fuel shortages. Not to mention the panic buying in supermarkets because who knows when the next power cut closing it down will be. You only have to go food shopping for a holiday weekend when the shops are closed on a Saturday/Sunday or Sunday/Monday to see that German's seem to think they may possible starve the day the shops are closed. Now add in random closure. It is not as simple as to say get used to it.
10:26 September 1, 2011 by frankiep
I suggest that to help fill the gap that the 'Atom Kraft, Nein Danke' folks all volunteer themselves to go completely without power for 10 hours per day and allow the rest of us to continue living in the 21st century. What do you say, all you anti-energy folks? Come on, lead by example and show the rest of us just how wonderful it can be to experience pre WWI living standards on a daily basis.
11:55 September 1, 2011 by raandy
I agree with you frankiep,, If I wanted to live in a 3rd world country where they experience power shortages , I will move there. Germans are not going to accept power outages.
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