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Germany ready to help Japan go non-nuclear

The Local · 15 Sep 2012, 08:46

Published: 15 Sep 2012 08:46 GMT+02:00

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Steffen Seibert said it was a "big political and social task" to phase out nuclear energy but was worthwhile - and reaped new technological and industrial benefits.

In the immediate wake of the 2011 disaster at Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant, Germany decided to shutter its nuclear reactors by 2022 and ramp up the use of renewable power sources.

Japan announced its plan to phase out nuclear power by 2040 on Friday, apparently bowing to public pressure after last year's disaster, the worst atomic accident in a generation.

"You can imagine that Germany, which has now had some experience of the path towards the future of renewable energy, willingly stands with all Japanese institutions with help in both word and action," Seibert told reporters, before underlining that Tokyo had only just made its decision.

"The Japanese know what we too know - that they have posed themselves a very big political and social task," he said.

"It's worth it for the nation that goes down this path. It creates new technological possibilities, it creates new industry export potential, but it is definitely a very demanding task, as we can say from experience, he added.

Seibert also said he could see broad scope for Germany and Japan swapping advice and expertise.

Japan's move also brings it into line with Italy and Switzerland.

Story continues below…

The German government has come in for criticism for what industry officials say is a cripplingly slow approach to its energy transition programme.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

09:24 September 15, 2012 by lucksi
Is the German solution for Japan that they should get off their island and push it closer to the continent so that they don't have to build expensive underwater power lines when they buy their energy from other countries like we do?
15:49 September 15, 2012 by Englishted
So they want Japan to be under the threat of Russia withholding energy supplies too, lets start a stupid club and see who joins.
20:32 September 15, 2012 by EinWolf
Germany -- Insane Or Just Plain Stupid? ... Forbes Magazine (the local won't let me post the link).

Meanwhile, in the real world, Germany's use of coal is up 4.9% and is foretold to go up 13.5%. The underwriting of solar is costing the Germans billions (Spiegal). With the cut in handouts for solar, in Germany alone, three solar companies-Solon, Solar Millennium and Solarhybrid-have filed for bankruptcy since December.
22:53 September 15, 2012 by rwk
It is stupid to end nuclear power and I hope that both countries realize this before they are ruined, and tens of thousands killed by coal.
09:50 September 16, 2012 by zeddriver
There was only one issue that caused the disaster in Japan. The ill thought out placement of a generator. One must remember what actually happened to the facility in Japan. The actual nuke plant didn't fail. It was the rather stupid placement of a diesel generator at sea level and the fact that this generator room was not sealed. That is what caused the cooling water circulation to fail and the plant to over heat. They should rebuild and place the generators in a hardened elevated facility.
09:30 September 17, 2012 by MrNosey
Germany will teach Japan how to have extremely high electricity costs. Two countries with (supposedly) high renewables use, Denmark and Germany, are number 1 and 2 with the highest cost per kw/h in Europe (more than 2x the cost in Greece by the way).
18:16 September 17, 2012 by DavidC1
The anti-renewable, pro-nuke propaganda quickly filled this comment thread!

Japan will succeed with renewables just as Germany is now doing, and enjoy clean, safe, never-ending energy. Great news.
13:38 September 18, 2012 by Englishted
@ DavidC1

And where pray do you live? enjoying "clean, safe, never-ending energy " because where I live in Germany it is expensive and the biggest boom is in wood logs to be burnt on your fire in the house ,real clean that is .
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