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orange
05-30-2011, 05:58 PM
Germany to shut down nuclear energy plants; influenced by Japanese disaster

Merkel says country will focus on solar, wind and hydroelectric power
Monday, May 30, 2011 | 6:41 p.m. CDT
BY The Associated Press

BERLIN — Europe's economic powerhouse, Germany, announced plans Monday to abandon nuclear energy over the next 11 years, outlining an ambitious strategy in the wake of Japan's Fukushima disaster to replace atomic power with renewable energy sources.

Chancellor Angela Merkel said she hopes the transformation to more solar, wind and hydroelectric power will serve as a roadmap for other countries.

"We believe that we can show those countries who decide to abandon nuclear power — or not to start using it — how it is possible to achieve growth, creating jobs and economic prosperity while shifting the energy supply toward renewable energies," Merkel said.

Merkel's government said it will shut down all 17 nuclear power plants in Germany — the world's fourth-largest economy and Europe's biggest — by 2022. The government had no immediate estimate of the transition's overall cost.

The plan sets Germany apart from most of the other major industrialized nations. Among the other Group of Eight countries, only Italy has abandoned nuclear power, which was voted down in a referendum after the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.

The decision represents a remarkable about-face for Merkel's center-right government, which only late last year pushed through a plan to extend the life span of the country's reactors, with the last scheduled to go offline around 2036. Merkel, who holds a Ph.D. in physics, said industrialized and technologically advanced Japan's "helplessness" in the face of the Fukushima disaster made her rethink the technology's risks.

Phasing out nuclear power within a decade will be a challenge, but it is feasible and will ultimately give Germany a competitive advantage in the renewable energy era, Merkel said.

"As the first big industrialized nation, we can achieve such a transformation toward efficient and renewable energies, with all the opportunities that brings for exports, developing new technologies and jobs," Merkel told reporters.

The government said the renewable energy sector already employs about 370,000 people.

Germany's seven oldest reactors, already taken off the grid pending safety inspections following the March catastrophe at Japan's Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant, will remain offline permanently, Merkel said. The plants accounted for about 40 percent of the country's nuclear power capacity.

At the time of the Japanese disaster, Germany got just under a quarter of its electricity from nuclear power, about the same share as in the U.S.

While Germany already was set to abandon nuclear energy eventually, the decision — which still requires parliamentary approval — dramatically speeds up that process. Environment Minister Norbert Rφttgen said there are no provisions that would allow a later policy reverse.

"We don't only want to renounce nuclear energy by 2022; we also want to reduce our CO2 emissions by 40 percent and double our share of renewable energies, from about 17 percent today to then 35 percent," the chancellor said.

Merkel said the cornerstones of Germany's energy policy will also include a safe and steady power supply that doesn't rely on imports and affordable prices for industry and consumers. The plan calls for more investment in natural gas plants as a backup to prevent blackouts, the chancellor said.

Germany's initiative received a skeptical reception abroad.

French Prime Minister Francois Fillon, whose country relies on nuclear power to produce 80 percent of its electricity supply, insisted "there's no way" for the European Union to meet its emission-cutting targets without at least some nuclear power.

"We respect this decision, but it doesn't cause us to change our policy," Fillon said. France operates more than one-third of the nuclear reactors in the EU.

Sweden's Environment Minister Andreas Carlgren also criticized the German decision, telling The Associated Press that the focus on an end date was unfortunate and could drive up electricity prices across Europe.

Germany, usually a net energy exporter, has at times since March had to import energy, with the seven old reactors shut and others temporarily off the grid for regular maintenance. Still, the agency overseeing its electricity grid, DENA, said Friday that the country remains self-sufficient and that its renewable energy production capacity this spring peaked at 28 gigawatts — or about the equivalent of 28 nuclear reactors.

Many Germans have vehemently opposed nuclear power since Chernobyl sent radioactivity over the country. Tens of thousands of people took to the streets after the tragedy in Fukushima to urge the government to shut all reactors quickly.

A decade ago, a center-left government drew up a plan to abandon the technology for good by 2021 because of its risks, but Merkel's government last year amended it to extend the plants' lifetime by an average 12 years — a political liability after Fukushima was hit by Japan's March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

Environmental groups welcomed Berlin's decision.

"The country is throwing its weight behind clean renewable energy to power its manufacturing base, and other countries like Britain should take note," said Robin Oakley, Greenpeace UK's campaigns director.

German industry said the government must not allow the policy changes to lead to an unstable power supply or rising electricity prices.

Hans-Peter Keitel, the president of the Federation of German Industries, urged the government not to set the exit date of 2022 in stone but to be flexible if problems arise.

Switzerland, where nuclear power produces 40 percent of electricity, also announced last week that it plans to shut down its reactors gradually once they reach their average life span of 50 years — which would mean taking the last plant off the grid in 2034.

Germany's decision broadly follows the conclusions of a government-mandated commission on the ethics of nuclear power, which on Saturday delivered recommendations on how to abolish the technology.

"Fukushima was a dramatic experience, seeing there that a high-technology nation can't cope with such a catastrophe," Matthias Kleiner, the commission's co-chairman, said Monday. "Nuclear power is a technology with too many inherent risks to inflict it on us or our children."

Geir Moulson in Berlin, Malin Rising in Stockholm, Colleen Barry in Milan, Jamey Keaten in Paris and Cassandra Vinograd in London contributed reporting.

http://www.columbiamissourian.com/stories/2011/05/30/germany-shut-down-nuclear-energy-plants/

Chocolate Hog
05-30-2011, 05:59 PM
Sucks for them.

notorious
05-30-2011, 06:04 PM
We should just cover the entire Middle East and West Texas with Solar Panels.


Might as well throw up 11tybillion windmills in Western Kansas, Oklahoma Panhandle, NW Texas and Eastern NM.

KILLER_CLOWN
05-30-2011, 06:08 PM
Bravo for Germany, maybe we can steal cold fusion secrets from China since were still stuck with the global warming fraud.

orange
05-30-2011, 06:10 PM
Bravo for Germany, maybe we can steal cold fusion secrets from China since were still stuck with the global warming fraud.

That's the second time you've mentioned "cold fusion from China" this week. Don't you realize that cold fusion has been totally debunked?

I'm a big fan of "fusion for the future," but I'm afraid we're going to have to do it the hard way.

KILLER_CLOWN
05-30-2011, 06:11 PM
That's the second time you've mentioned "cold fusion from China" this week. Don't you realize that cold fusion has been totally debunked?

no, it's only debunked because were investing little in it. Were still looking for unicorns and leprechauns in the form of global warming.

mlyonsd
05-30-2011, 06:26 PM
So GE owns Merkel just like they do Obama. Pretty impressive.

orange
05-30-2011, 06:35 PM
So GE owns Merkel just like they do Obama. Pretty impressive.

I don't know what you're getting at. GE does nukes. In fact, they designed Fukushima.

mlyonsd
05-30-2011, 06:56 PM
I don't know what you're getting at. GE does nukes. In fact, they designed Fukushima.Oh come on, you're better than this. Designed Fuhushima? Really?

How much money can GE make building a few nuclear turbines when they can build thousands of inefficient and unreliable wind ones that cost millions more to maintain?

Of course you knew all this.

GE/Obama is Bush/Oil companies on steroids. The brilliant thing for Obama is though GE/Soros control the liberal media. I do give Obama credit for being a puppet though, he plays it well.

CrazyPhuD
05-30-2011, 06:56 PM
no, it's only debunked because were investing little in it. Were still looking for unicorns and leprechauns in the form of global warming.

Or or could be debunked because it makes little sense from any logical position. Consider the most successful fusion experiments, the ones that have been running for billions of years.....stars....pretty sure they aren't cold fusion....so you can either try to invent something that you have no idea if even can exist, or you can invest the money into trying to control more traditional fusion approaches!

We have created successful massive energy producing fusion devices since the early 50s. The problem isn't in creating fusion, it's in containing and controlling the reaction and recovering the energy released. Remember Hydrogen bombs are fusion bombs.

banyon
05-30-2011, 07:15 PM
Oh come on, you're better than this. Designed Fuhushima? Really?

How much money can GE make building a few nuclear turbines when they can build thousands of inefficient and unreliable wind ones that cost millions more to maintain?



Is this true? That seems counterintuitive to me. I have a wind farm outside my house and I only see people working on them maybe once every couple of months. I don't think they are as high paying maintenance jobs than the engineers and technicians you have to pay at a nuclear plant, plus all the money into waste storage and transport.

I don't know, I'm really asking.

orange
05-30-2011, 07:25 PM
GE/Obama is Bush/Oil companies on steroids. The brilliant thing for Obama is though GE/Soros control the liberal media. I do give Obama credit for being a puppet though, he plays it well.

GE-owned Obama continues to support nuclear power - AT HIS MASTERS' BEHEST

GE-owned Merkel abandons nuclear power - AT HER MASTERS' BEHEST

http://bp0.blogger.com/_jsq8o_ujzoM/R825D046qGI/AAAAAAAAAG4/BxYHFhXKZCE/s320/The+Inscrutable+Americans.jpg

orange
05-30-2011, 07:26 PM
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_TRcQCuP2b5A/SS-QeDc9-EI/AAAAAAAAD8s/RBiUvemKnrA/s400/198293_0.jpg

notorious
05-30-2011, 08:16 PM
Is this true? That seems counterintuitive to me. I have a wind farm outside my house and I only see people working on them maybe once every couple of months. I don't think they are as high paying maintenance jobs than the engineers and technicians you have to pay at a nuclear plant, plus all the money into waste storage and transport.

I don't know, I'm really asking.


Those techs make about 100- $120K a year. I have a few friends that have the job.

banyon
05-30-2011, 09:03 PM
Those techs make about 100- $120K a year. I have a few friends that have the job.

Still, I would think that techs at a nuke plant would be similarly, if not better compensated. I wouldn't think it takes as many people monitoring either.

I guess the real question is what is the maintenance cost per kilowatt hour generated for each?

HonestChieffan
05-30-2011, 09:06 PM
If its not windy, does Nuclear work?

CrazyPhuD
05-30-2011, 09:13 PM
Is this true? That seems counterintuitive to me. I have a wind farm outside my house and I only see people working on them maybe once every couple of months. I don't think they are as high paying maintenance jobs than the engineers and technicians you have to pay at a nuclear plant, plus all the money into waste storage and transport.

I don't know, I'm really asking.

Honestly I don't know but if you look at the scale I could see it being true. One modern reactor being built today is expected to generate on average 1.6GW of power. Whereas typical wind generators would generate on average ~1MW each. So to replace one nuke reactor would take 1600 wind turbines. Considering land leases + maintenance for all those windmills I could see it being more expensive just due to sheer scale. Would be interesting to know the numbers but it doesn't see unreasonable.

HonestChieffan
05-30-2011, 09:21 PM
Honestly I don't know but if you look at the scale I could see it being true. One modern reactor being built today is expected to generate on average 1.6GW of power. Whereas typical wind generators would generate on average ~1MW each. So to replace one nuke reactor would take 1600 wind turbines. Considering land leases + maintenance for all those windmills I could see it being more expensive just due to sheer scale. Would be interesting to know the numbers but it doesn't see unreasonable.

If its taxpayer funded, what does economics have to do with it?

banyon
05-30-2011, 09:32 PM
If its not windy, does Nuclear work?

Wind should be part of the energy mix, not the only source. Also with improved battery storage, I think this concern is somewhat diminished.

Even Germany isn't putting all their eggs in 1 basket.

I'm pro nuke as a part of the mix with Nat gas to bridge us away from foreign oil.

CrazyPhuD
05-30-2011, 09:34 PM
Who wants to bet we could power 1/2 the country on the windpower generated coming out of congress when they are in session. We need to build a wind farm across from congress!

MagicHef
05-31-2011, 03:14 AM
Is this true? That seems counterintuitive to me. I have a wind farm outside my house and I only see people working on them maybe once every couple of months. I don't think they are as high paying maintenance jobs than the engineers and technicians you have to pay at a nuclear plant, plus all the money into waste storage and transport.

I don't know, I'm really asking.

Nuclear: 2.14 cents per kWh

Wind: 5-6 cents per kWh

http://www.nei.org/keyissues/reliableandaffordableenergy/economicgrowth/

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wind_power

Iowanian
05-31-2011, 08:46 AM
I hope they opt out of Oil....that'll help us.

AndChiefs
05-31-2011, 09:49 AM
This makes sense. There's a lot of earthquake/tsunamis hitting Germany.

Rain Man
05-31-2011, 09:55 AM
I continue to question whether wind power and particularly hydroelectric are deemed to be environmentally sound. Hydroelectric has massive impacts on the environment and ecosystems. Massive impacts. Lakes are created, which maybe people view as good from a recreational perspective, but they flood natural habitat and disrupt fish migrations and cause all sorts of habitat disruption downstream. Hydroelectric seems far less environmentally friendly than nuclear, and I would suspect that dam ruptures are in the same ballpark of risk as nuclear meltdowns.

Wind power is likely less disruptive, but I continue to wonder (maybe stupidly, maybe not) what the impact is of removing energy from the atmosphere by harnessing wind. Maybe there's no impact and it all just dies away due to friction or something, but logically it seems to me like removing energy from wind is going to change something about the environment.

BucEyedPea
05-31-2011, 10:05 AM
I don't know what you're getting at. GE does nukes. In fact, they designed Fukushima.

They sure did....that's because they are a govt connected corporation which gets them easier access to foreign govt deals. This makes them mercantilist.
( Hamilton's curse—remember?) Perhaps even Japan got a loan from some bankster cronies to pull it off. Sweet deal for GM. Look how well that turned out for everyone else. Putting those generators in the basement in a country where tsunamis are not uncommon is another example of the moral hazards govt connected entities create. I read that there were safety concerns at that plant before the quake/tsunami which was covered up by the Japanese govt. I also read that the radiation levels in Tokyo are sky high now. Sigh! I won't be eating any shrimp from the Pacific anymore—or from the Gulf!


What I don't understand is how Germany has any natural or weather related issues that would lead to such an accident. It's more like an knee-jerk reaction....and over-reaction at that.

BucEyedPea
05-31-2011, 10:08 AM
Nuclear: 2.14 cents per kWh

Wind: 5-6 cents per kWh

http://www.nei.org/keyissues/reliableandaffordableenergy/economicgrowth/

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wind_power

Don't forget the mention the noise pollution wind creates.