Germany Announces End to Nuclear Power

by updated 2011/05/30

Flag of GermanyGermany said recently that it will shut down all its nuclear reactors within 11 years.  Most of the media coverage I have seen portrays this as a response to the nuclear tragedy caused by Japan’s earthquake.  Indeed several of Germany’s reactors were taken off line for inspections following the quake in Japan, but I think there is another, more encouraging reason for Germany’s decision.  Right now wind, solar, and other renewables make up almost 20% of Germany’s electric power generation.  This figure is growing at a brisk pace.  I think that by the planned retirement of all their nuclear reactors in 2022, renewable energy will pretty much make up for the nuclear generation.  Some Germans feel that this time-line is too conservative and think the reactors should be closed at a quicker pace.  This is not a big issue here in the U.S. since a much smaller percentage of our electricity is generated by nuclear plants.  It is too bad, however that the U.S. is not at the same point as other countries with renewable energy.  I did think this was a good article summarizing Germany’s decision to end nuclear power generation.

Will Sig
1 Tony McGurk

Japan’s disaster certainly shows that no matter how in control man may think he is of nuclear reactors there are still things that can go horribly wrong that we are unprepared for. I certainly wouldn’t like to live near one. A big thumbs up for Germany.

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2 Will

What is interesting I think is that it seems they are doing it not only for safety reasons, but because they are heavily committed to safe forms of renewable energy.

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3 Lynda Lehmann

Having read several of Dr. Helen Caldicott’s books years ago, including NUCLEAR MADNESS and MISSILE ENVY, I am firmly convinced that any benefits of nuclear power are far overshadowed by the capacity to put a horrific end to life on earth–preceded by epidemic cancers, birth defects, and wholesale bankrupting of societies, leading to chaos the likes of which we have not seen before on this earth.

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4 Rob

Just because we can generate electricity by nuclear fission doesn’t mean we should. The arguments against nuclear are well-rehearsed and clear.
We must move to a low energy economy with far greater use if renewables.
Congratulations Germany for your leadership!!!
Rob
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5 tracy

that is very exciting and encouraging news. now if only other countries would follow suit.

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6 Anna

You know Will the problem with nuclear power I have is that if something goes wrong it spreads. European countries are small, some smaller than our provinces in Canada. The Japan radiation reached us, very little but it travels. I hope that many will follow Germany. I find nuclear power very dangerous, no matter how safe reactor design is. I visited Germany in 2006, and saw lot of wind farms, but interesting was that there was no wind (they are on land), and many were just standing there, doing nothing. PS excellent read as always. Anna :)
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