Germany Drops Nuclear Power

May 30th, 2011
in econ_news

nuclear_power Econintersect:  In ten years Germany plans to be nuclear free.  Last year Chancelor Angela Merckel had outlined a plan to increase Germany's use of nuclear power in the near-term and reschedule nuclear power phase-out to 2036.  The March Fukushima disaster has changed all that.  Nuclear power will now be abandoned even faster than the previous schedule which was to be completed by 2022.

Follow up:

The schedule still extends to 2022 but the early rate of decommissioning will be faster.   Reactors scheduled for refurbishing will be shut down as soon as possible.  Most reactors will be decommissioned by 2019 and the last is scheduled by 2021, except for the tree newest reactors, which will stay in operation one additional year.

Approximately 25% of electricity in Germany is generated with nuclear power.  This production will have to be replaced by other sources.  In Germany, that is expected to be a combination of wind and natural gas.

From The Guardian:

Germany will shut all its nuclear reactors by 2022, parties in Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition government agreed on Monday, in a reaction to Japan's Fukushima disaster that marks a drastic policy reversal.

As expected, the coalition wants to keep the eight oldest of Germany's 17 nuclear reactors permanently shut. Seven were closed temporarily in March, just after the earthquake and tsunami hit Fukushima. One has been off the grid for years.

Another six would be taken offline by 2021, environment minister Norbert Roettgen said early on Monday after late-night talks in the chancellor's office between leaders of the centre-right coalition.

The remaining three reactors, Germany's newest, would stay open until 2022 as a safety buffer to ensure no disruption to power supply, he said.

Merkel backtracked in March on an unpopular decision just months earlier to extend the life of ageing nuclear stations in Germany, where the majority of voters oppose atomic energy.

Sources:  FT Video, Financial Times and The Guardian  

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