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Few follow German no nukes policy

The Local · 9 Mar 2013, 12:21

Published: 09 Mar 2013 12:21 GMT+01:00

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But for the most part, nuclear energy is on the upswing. Areva, based in France, is Europe’s leading nuclear energy company and it is reporting once again rising sales and profits.

And although Germany has moved to end its use of nuclear energy, Areva’s German subsidiary, located in Erlangen, is become a worldwide bestseller for its nuclear energy security technology.

Nearly two years ago on March 11th, 2011, a tsunami off the coast of Japan resulted in a melt down of the insufficiently protected nuclear power installations in Fukushima on Japan’s east coast, the paper wrote.

The Fukushima catastrophe resulted in a complete about face for Chancellor Angela Merkel on nuclear policy. She had favoured extending operating authorisations for the country’s nuclear plants, but closed eight of the 17 after Fukushima and announced that Germany would no longer use nuclear energy by 2022.

But other countries don’t see nuclear energy that way, according to the Association of Nuclear Power Operators and Manufacturers in Germany.

In a report in a trade publication, the group said all 30 nuclear energy producing countries were allowing their nuclear installations to live out their expected lives of a least 40-years of use and in most cases would let them run for 60 years.

“A majority of these countries are replacing their old installations with new ones,” the group said, adding that at least seven additional countries, including the United Arab Emirates Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Vietnam have decided to start using nuclear energy.

The German industry association said an additional seven countries, including Argentina, Brazil, China, Sweden, Canada and South Africa – have started new nuclear projects. China has 28 plants under construction, of which seven were started after Fukushima.

While German and Japan are the only two countries opting for an end to nuclear power, the group noted that several European countries have moved to curtail their reliance on this energy form.

Story continues below…

France wants to reduce its current 80 percent dependency on nuclear power to 50 percent by 2025. The Netherlands announced a new construction moratorium. Belgium, Switzerland and Spain limited the length of time its current installations can operate and Italy decided to not move forward with its plans to re-enter the nuclear power industry.

The Local/mw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

15:18 March 9, 2013 by Englishted
Not every country has such a knee-jerk reaction to things as Germany,who seem to operate under the motto

"Panic now ,regret later "
15:28 March 9, 2013 by pepsionice
When electricity goes up a hundred percent over the next decade....some German wannabe journalist will finally ask why. And eventually....the answer will be that you have to buy power from other countries....who set their prices especially for the idiot Germans in this case.
17:54 March 9, 2013 by notelove2
hey, what about the waste material??? no-one wants that buried in their back yard!
22:57 March 9, 2013 by zeddriver

Where do you think radio active material comes from? Yep! It comes out of the ground. No reason why it can't go back in. Provided it's done correctly. And no. Power plant fuel rods can't be made into a bomb. It's to dilute and weak.
23:26 March 9, 2013 by amaticc
There is a world wide project for generation IV nuclear power plants. This nuclear power plants should be able to transmute old nuclear waste, the goal was to decrease waste radioactivity from 100 000 years to 1000 years (if human kind can take care of it for 1000 years). Germany was a part of this project and after Fukushima incident they stupidly pulled out.

The more funny thing is how dangerous are coal driven power plants.



and enjoy that all other countries have nuclear reactors on borders with Germany!!!!
23:59 March 9, 2013 by GuestPoster
1. Congratulations to Germany for making the wise and mature decision to not use nuclear energy.

2. The dangerous nuclear waste; the cancer-causing radiation emitted; the water usage; the increased cases of leukemia...all these things make nuclear energy NOT worth the risk.

@zeddriver - you are completely wrong. Nuclear fission causes the elements to become radioactive and dangerous for up to 200,000 years. Therefore, they cannot just be put back into the ground, as you suggested. And nuclear power plants can make fissionable material. That's why so many countries want nuclear power plants....

@amattic - Germany exported energy to keep pro-nuclear France warm, so Germany will be just fine. And the Gen IV reactors you are pushing are just as dangerous, especially sodium-cooled ones. Salt is highly flammable, so it's the height of stupidity to use it anywhere near a nuclear process.

If a country wants true ENERGY INDEPENDENCE, then RENEWABLE ENERGY is the answer, and can power a country with CLEAN, non-polluting energy.

Solar energy, windpower, tidal, geothermal, biomass/biofuel, and an energy perfected decades ago called HOT ROCK GEOTHERMAL. (go to www.karlgrossman.com to learn more)

Lastly, the United States used more Renewable Energy last year than nuclear energy.
02:12 March 10, 2013 by simski
If you start quoting "Die Welt", I'm gonna have to stop reading your website.
02:56 March 10, 2013 by zeddriver

I used to work on nuclear weapons. The Uranium-235 that powers these nuke power plants is enriched with 2-3% more U-235 than naturally occurring Uranium. It takes 90% enrichment of U-235 to create a bomb. Left uncontrolled. I.E. uncooled. The rods in a power plant will simply melt not explode. The U-235 in the fuel rods will not become more enriched from their use in a power plant.

Nuclear fission happens naturally every day. Uranium, for example, Undergoes spontaneous fission at a very slow rate. This is why the naturally occurring element emits radiation, and why it's a natural choice for the induced fission that nuclear power plants require.

Uranium is a common natural element on Earth and has existed since the planet formed. While there are several varieties of uranium, uranium-235 (U-235) is the one most important to the production of both nuclear power and nuclear bombs.

The reason for not using more nuke energy in America. Is that we haven't built a new plant in decades. We should get busy and build a few.

Google the following "Brian Cox, Can we make a star on earth" Go to about the 26 minute mark. The Professor talks to Saul Griffiths the owner of a wind energy company. Here's what was said.

The two then went through a calculation to establish what energy needs might be based on a number of premises.

Energy equity. The average American currently consumes 11.4KW of energy per year whereas the world average is 2.2KW making a world total of 13TW or 13 million million watts. So if we pick a number somewhere in between 11 and 2 that¦#39;s equitable for all of us on planet earth that would be fair wouldn¦#39;t it? 5KW per annum making a total of 30TW.

No fossil fuels. Target date of 2035.

In the West we¦#39;d need to consume a whole lot less even with more than doubling world total , but those not as fortunate than us could enjoy a live style approximating our own. Again sounds fair doesn¦#39;t it?

If we choose then to generate a modest 5TW of our needs from Nuclear Fission Reactors we¦#39;d need to build 5000 of these in 25 years or two and half full size reactor every week.

Every 3 minutes for the next 25 years we¦#39;d need to install a full size 3MW Wind Turbine and cover about 2% of the land mass with such turbines for another 5TW.

10TW from Solar. 250 squared metres of Solar Panels would need to be installed every second for the next 25 years.

Bio fuels. 2TW. We¦#39;d need to produce 4 Olympic sized swimming pools of genetically engineered bacteria every second for the next 25 years.

They didn¦#39;t get to include tide, geothermal or hydro as the numbers were probably equally as mind boggling. As Cox then points out they didn¦#39;t factor in population growth and every minute or second we do nothing the numbers above just keep climbing.
03:21 March 10, 2013 by amaticc
Hi GuestPoster.

Nicely written, but you still did not give answer, what with existing nuclear waste. Even 1000 years for human kind is to much, not to mention 100 000 years. Therefore, we need to transmute nuclear waste. Furthermore, sodium cooled reactor is only one solution, there are 5 more models suggested in GENIV nuclear reactors program.

Shutting down nuclear power industry is not the solution. It is funny how general public is scared from a word nuclear, when the most advanced medical techniques are nuclear: NMR (scanner) and proton therapy and other radiation techniques

For renewable energy, I do not agree that for clean Europe somebody needs to pollute entire desert in Africa. The clean energy does not exist, you need to make some machine to produce or "collect" energy. Every windmill is much larger below of ground than above, if I remember good, an efficiency of windmills in North see is just 5% from a nominal power. Therefore you need 24000 windmills to replace one nuclear reactor, not 1200 like it is advertised. The best one windmills are those which you place on buildings, there is always wind coming up. But nobody wants to have something like that on his own building.

And it is hypocritical that any person who has a driving licence talk about clean world. Oil and gas industry pollute world more than nuclear industry, much more. About US and using renewable energy, I am waiting for a moment that US will remove all nuclear reactors from ships and submarines, it is not right to endanger other countries with your mobile reactors (missiles I will not mention) .

BUT I agree that every country should produce their own energy, and if not, that country should import all waste coming from energy production.
16:32 March 10, 2013 by raandy
Germany's move away from atomic generated power was a political move by Mrs Merkel.

The cost of shutting down these plants is very expensive. The government cost estimate of shutting down the Lubmin plant will be 4.i billion euros. If the companies can not manage the cost it will fall on the tax payer to pick up the tab.

There are more problems like the lack of nuclear engineers, the removal of stored waste at each site.The spent fuel rods will require a different site as there are special requirements that must be met and at this time there is no such place in Germany.

Germanys ambitious decision to shut down by 2022 is going to be very difficult to meet.

I would think a more realistic approach and time frame rather than a Knee jerk approach as stated by Englishted will be necessary.
19:49 March 10, 2013 by Darkknight
Nuclear not growing in Japan!! Really? Read the internet.. Japan recently announced that they were restarting all their reactors again soon, and are planning more Upgrades to old plants and planning new ones. Even they

realized that Fukushima was a 1 in a million oddity.
22:18 March 10, 2013 by zeddriver

And one should look at what really happened at Fukushima. The initial failure of the core was not a direct result of the wave. In so much as the fact that the emergency power generator that was meant to prevent such cooling failures was for some strange reason. Not elevated. It was swamped and failed. Had the gen set been elevated. We would not be talking about this right now.

And I would ask. Does Germany really expect a Sunami to hit the fatherland? Talk about being obtuse. But I guess one can never be to prepared. That is why due to the snow & ice in Antarctica. Snowmobiles will be issued to all homes in Germany.
03:04 March 11, 2013 by royp
In the USA natural gas has been categorized as a green energy, so fracking is actually considered a green energy production source.

As for Nuclear energy, Germany no longer is really involved in the nuclear industry, just a token amount at Erlangen & Offenbach working for Areva only in I&C, so there is no real substantial lobby group in Germany, and strangely with several leading ex politicians working for the russian gas suppliers, and Germany being a major gas power plant manufacturer strange coincidence that they have lost interest in Nuclear power ?.

But there is also the emotional basis here Germans of a certain age were brought up waiting for a Russian invasion or a nuclear war, also in Germany they have a negative connotations of nuclear power with bombs.

But all of the new nuclear power plants have been made with passive technology such as gravity control rods that fall automatically as they are held in place by electricity so if the power goes out they fall, also the other key passive technologies is extra steel to prevent blasts, and a sump basically a great big hole under the core to catch it if it over heats. So the way to go is idiot proof low tech, just costs a lot to build, but is very safe, and fool proof. Also most people are unaware that a typical coal burning powerplant spreads more radiation into the environment then a nuclear power plant. So I am for nuclear power on a general global level, just don't want to live within 20 KMs of one, because if there is an accident this is the main risk area not for an explosion but more just for a low level leak
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