Nuclear Power Dropped in Germany?

Germany has decided to phase out its nuclear power program by 2020, according to a statement just made by their deputy environment minister. While the complete abandonment of nuclear power would be shocking, it isn’t totally surprising because Germany had recently announced plans to shut down a number of nuclear power plants for safety inspections in light of the tsunami-related radiation leaks in Japan.

Eight nuclear plants will be shut down this year and not reactivated–prior to this recent announcement, the plan had been to bring them back into operation if they passed safety inspections. The remaining nine will be shut down over the next nine years, said Juergen Becker.

“Japan has shown that even if there is a miniscule occurrence, the residual risk is too high to justify the continuation of nuclear power…. It is better to go for other energy services in a civilized country,” said Mr. Becker. (Source: Reuters.com)

After the nuclear plant in Japan was damaged, the European Union planned to test all of its nuclear power plants in 27 European countries. Of course, testing 143 nuclear power plants is a huge undertaking; one requiring a lot of time and juggling of alternative power sources for the interim. No one knows at this point if alternative and renewable energy sources can be ramped up to fill potential gaps by committing fullstop to deactivating nuclear power in Germany. Some critics of the deactivation plan have pointed out that in the interim period, when nuclear is no longer available and renewables have not caught up, that Germany would be buying electricity made from French nuclear plants. If safety is truly the main issue, this criticism may be moot, however. Any transition to renewables as a primary source of power is likely to be very expensive, and with a nebulous outlook for some years. A number of Germany’s plants were built around 1980 and are approaching the end of their productive usefulness.

Chancellor Angela Merkel has said no decision has been reached yet, and more deliberation is required before announcing a final decision.

Image Credit: Christian Horvat

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61 comments

Reggie Thomas
Reggie Thomas4 years ago

When it comes to nuclear power plants,if you live in a Quake zone Environment,why would you want them in the first place?there's no place to put the spent Fuel Rods,good for Germany,The United States is gonna have a problem if a sizable Quake hits.

Azel Beckner
Azle B.4 years ago

Nuclear energy is the highest costing electric energy and the deadliest. It costs more electricity than it produces to enrich the uranium. Nuclear power should be closed down.

Robert O.
Robert O.5 years ago

Great news. Goodbye and good riddance. It's time to move past the dark days of nuclear and into the brighter future of renewable resources.

jane richmond
jane richmond5 years ago

thanks

Jane R.
Jane R.5 years ago

Now if all countries would follow suit maybe the world will have a chance.

Gabriela B.
Gabriela B.5 years ago

I'm pretty sure, that Germany will use nuclear power anyway - some of their nuclear power plants are old, but after the debate about Japanese issues with be over, they are going to think about it again.

Jennifer C.
Past Member 5 years ago

Thanks for this great info.

Barbara M.
Barbara M.5 years ago

It's nice to know that not everyone is crazy. I feel sorry for the sane people, though, having to share the planet with us and China.

Claude Hines
Claude Hines5 years ago

Bravo, Germany!! Would that the US would do the same - PLUS reduce our energy consumption. No need for home theaters, TV's blaring from every room, several computers running 24/7, appliances/hardware that are not really 'off'' despite our pressing that button, etc. We simply must be more responsible as energy consumers. Conserve today - independent of foreign countries tomorrow.

Chinmayee Jog
Chinmayee Jog5 years ago

Well done Germany! I fully approve, nuclear power plants are too big a risk to the health of both mankind and the environment - the tragedy in Japan has proved this. And not only has Japan's incident affected Japan and it's people, but the radiation has spread overseas to the US - this must not be tolerated and nuclear plants worldwide should be shut down, so that we can all be safe.