Germany to end to nuclear power by 2022
Monday, May 30, 2011 at 1:00AM
Uranium Stocks in Other
Angela Merkel looking at tad tired.JPG
Angela Merkel

This announcement out of Germany is surprising as they don't tell us just how the 22% shortfall in electricity demand will be made up, we can only guess that they buy more from the french, which is nuclear generated, but not in their back yard.

Germany has announced plans to become the first major industrialised power to shut down all its nuclear plants, with a phase-out due to be wrapped up by 2022.

Environment Minister Norbert Roettgen announced the government's decision, which was prompted by the Japanese nuclear disaster, in the early hours of this morning, describing it as "irreversible".

He said the vast majority of Germany's 17 reactors would be off line by the end of 2011.

Mr Roettgen was speaking after a meeting of the ruling coalition led by Chancellor Angela Merkel, which lasted from Sunday evening into the small hours of today.

Germany has 17 nuclear reactors on its territory, eight of which are off the electricity grid.

Seven of those off line are the country's oldest nuclear reactors, which the federal government shut down for three months pending a safety probe after the Japanese atomic emergency at Fukushima in March.

The eighth is the Kruemmel plant, in northern Germany, which has been mothballed for years because of technical problems.

The decision comes after the environment ministers from all 16 German regional states on Friday called for the temporary order on the seven plants to be made permanent.

Mr Roettgen said today that none of the eight reactors off line would be reactivated.

The decision is effectively a return to the timetable set by the previous Social Democrat-Green coalition government a decade ago.

And it is a humbling U-turn for Mrs Merkel, who at the end of last year decided to extend the lifetime of Germany's 17 reactors by an average of 12 years, which would have kept them open until the mid-2030s.

That decision was unpopular in Germany even before the earthquake and tsunami in March that severely damaged the Fukushima nuclear facility in Japan, prompting Mrs Merkel's review of nuclear policy.

Her zig-zagging on what since the 1970s has been a highly emotive issue in the country has cost her since at the ballot box.

Mrs Merkel herself has blamed the Fukushima nuclear disaster for recent defeats in state elections.

In the latest, on May 23, the anti-nuclear Greens pushed her conservative party into third place in a vote in the northern state of Bremen, the first time they had scored more votes than the conservatives in a regional or federal election.

Monday's decision will make Germany the first major industrial power to give up atomic energy.

Germany map 30 May 2011.JPG



But it also means that the country will have to find the 22 per cent of its electricity needs covered by nuclear reactors from another source.



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