Germany steadfast against nuclear energy

2013-01-04 18:06

Berlin - German Environment Minister Peter Altmaier said on Friday his country would never again return to nuclear energy, hitting back at a top EU official who doubted Berlin's commitment to phase out nuclear power.

"I cannot see any plausible political line-up that would enable a revival of nuclear power in Germany," Altmaier told Friday's edition of the Leipziger Volkszeitung regional daily.

After the 2011 Fukushima disaster in Japan, Germany embarked on an ambitious "energy revolution", deciding to phase out its nuclear power plants by the end of 2022 and bolster renewable sources of energy such as solar and wind power.

However, concerns have mounted that this would entail a sharp rise in electricity prices amid difficulties in building a network able to transmit energy from the North Sea coast to the energy-hungry south of the country.

The EU’s Energy Commissioner, Guenther Oettinger, told Monday's edition of the Rheinische Post regional daily that there would "still be nuclear power on the German network in 40 years."

He said there were still 140 nuclear power stations in Europe and that nuclear fusion technology was progressing rapidly.

"Maybe this technology will one day be accepted in Germany," said Oettinger, himself German.

Altmaier also vowed to find a permanent national storage site for nuclear waste by 2030.

"We are together looking country-wide," he said, adding that the search would be accelerated in the coming years.

The search would be "co-financed and jointly carried out" by Germany's nuclear energy companies, he said.

  • bbooyse - 2013-01-04 18:20

    Germany is practically funding half the EU ...Maybe the EU should rather mind their own business and focus on fixing their economies..

      johan.jacobs.5680 - 2013-01-04 18:56

      Isn't it a bit premature.

      bbooyse - 2013-01-04 19:11

      I just think it's crazy to publically question someone's policies (especially someone who takes deadlines seriously) on the one hand but then beg huge amounts of money from them for bailouts with the other...

  • nicolas.gombert.16 - 2013-01-04 18:26

    How hypocritical can people be? During the Japanese nuclear disaster, not a single person died, yet in 2011, 31 people died and more than 3000 got ill due to eating E. coli infected sprouts. Did they ban sprouts? NOPE! It is high time people use proper, scientific arguments rather then becoming emotional about things they know very little about.

  • john.randall.75436 - 2013-01-04 18:47

    The truth is somewhat different to what what one has been lead to believe about Germany's "energiewende" (energy transition). 1. Germany closed - and is closing - nuclear power stations - but building coal-fired stations. 2. Germany was in too much of a hurry to make its changes and must now rely on neighbouring countries for the grid needed to transport electricity from the point of generation to the point of use. This destabilises the grids of the neighbours - and they are erecting barriers to prevent Germany flooding their grids. 3. Germany is relying _very_ heavily on solar PV. This is astonishing for a country so deficient of sunshine. So, although 32GW has been installed (South Africa needs in the region of 40GW currently) today, the 4th of January the _peak_ output was 1GW. (Note that the date is selectable.) The concept of German efficiency does not fit nicely with the fact that 1 of 32 was produced today (and none tonight)!

  • AnthonyfromAfrica - 2013-01-04 18:51

    . What an amazing commitment !! Hats off to the Germans !!! Lets STOP this nuclar madness , altogether !!! And....thugs like the Iranians , want nuclar energy, lets smash their nuclear facilities to pieces !!!

      sven.gohre - 2013-01-04 19:10

      Anthony, it is people like you who think with their emotions and not with their brains that cause many of the laws that are passed by stupid politicians that have unintended consequences that make more and more people unemployed. Nuclear energy is the safest form of electricity generation currently available, fact. The so called "Green Energy" solution will not be able to generate electricity in sufficient quantities ever, fact. Solar Power, Wind Turbines and such cause more pollution than nuclear if the whole manufacturing process is analysed,fact. As clean electrical generation is the only future hope for maintaining our technical and electronic lifestyle, it stands to reason that we have to embrace the only truly "Clean" and safe electrical generation technology we have at present. Hopefully in the future mankind will find a way of splitting the Hydrogen molecule from the Oxygen molecule in water that will allow us to generate all the electricity the world needs from a Clean power source (Hydrogen) with only pure Oxygen as the by-product. Until then we need to embrace Nuclear energy, no matter what the Green-Peace Terrorists say, or we will be returning to horse and oxen power before very long.

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2013-01-04 19:54

      Peggy, Whenever, someone has to use insults, like calling someone a 'green peace 'terrorist' you have already lost the argument. Because you come over dumb and stupid !!!! What you fail to understand is that we are not talking about 'unemployment' or 'polution' The problem is 'NUCLEAR' And if you been watching the news in the last few years, which I doubt !!!!, you must , like just about every thinking person in this world, know the thin line, there is, between 'nuclear energy' and nuclear 'war heads' Can you imagine, just in the last few years, if scum, like, ahmadinejad, chavez, mugabe , gaddafi, hezbollah, or this monster assad, would have been in possesion of nuclear bombs !!!!!!! WAKE UP, forget about ,unemployment' and forget about 'polution' THINK about this planet !!!!

      paul.burger.50 - 2013-01-04 20:11

      Lol Anthony from Africa , you are real very ignorant. You dont need nuclear power plants to make nuclear weapons. All you need is plutonium or uranium. Please know what you are talking about before you talk about anyhitng , especialy in matters such as these. P.S. since you're a tree hugger I'll let you in on a secret , Nuclear Energy produces 0 CO2's .

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2013-01-04 20:32

      Paul, Ohhh, stupid me......and the rest of the world, including Russia and China !!! We are all worried, that it will be a realtive small step from nuclear power to nuclear bombs, and we forgot to check with you !!!!! All this unnecesarily fuss, about nothing !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      sven.gohre - 2013-01-04 20:42

      Anthony, I have not in anyway insulted anyone as I am using the words of the founder of Greenpeace to describe what the Environmentalist organisations have become. As for turning nuclear fuel into bombs, it is you that seems to be totally "ignorant", if you have been reading the worldwide news, you will be aware that nuclear fuel is only enriched to about 20%, whereas nuclear bomb grade Uranium has to be enriched to about 90%(?). Therefore a country like South Africa has nuclear power as well as the ability to enrich their own nuclear fuel. That is why the National Party destroyed South Africa's ability to create "Bomb Grade" nuclear material when the CancER took over the levers of Power in 1994. Just remember that EDUCATION is the key not only to knowledge, but Intelligent thinking and understanding of the political and other criminals actual programs for controlling the 92% of people that are unable to think for themselves.

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2013-01-04 21:05

      Peggy, I am totally honoured , to be talking to one of the few 'thinking' persons in the world!!! By the way, I never mentioned 'Greenpeace' or any other environmentalist organisation!! I just support, the millions of 'non thinking' people in this world, who find the step from nuclear energy, to nuclear bombs far too small and FAR TOO DANGEROUS !!! But, again, I am soooo honoured to have talked to an intelligent person !!! Thank you !!! STUPID GERMANS !!! And the same must be said about the Japanese, who many are thinking along the same lines !!!

      joy.moloi.3 - 2013-01-04 22:06

      AnthonyfromAfrica is so weak when his friend fred.fraser (mr copy and paste) is not around. Anthony call your friend Fred to help you out, you are embarrassing yourself.

  • bones.meintjies - 2013-01-04 22:02

    Anthony Anthony, you have been known to shout your mouth off about things you

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2013-01-05 06:53

      Bones, Did you fall asleep writing your own comment..................!???? Again, it is admirable off the Germans to have taken such a move, and there is also plenty such talk in Japan!!

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