|( by Diet Simon)
Local power utilities in Germany have formed an anti-nuclear power alliance saying that planned longer running times for nukes are endangering their plans to invest billions in climate-friendly green energies.
This is the best news in a long time! comments Volker Thomsen, Treasurer of the World Wind Energy Association and active in a number of other renewables roles.
Nothing can be more convincing than 150 local utility companies (in reality 150
cities big and small) protesting nuclear.
Lengthening the running times of atomic plants, as the present government intends to
do, offers the companies billions in extra profits.
Municipal utilities produce 10% of Germanys power supply. They run many
gas-fuelled and combined heat and power stations and produce above-average rates of power
from green sources.
Some in the government want only a short extension, others and the nuclear lobbies want
long ones. There is apparently agreement on at least half the additional profits flowing
to public budgets.
In that scenario legislators should force nuclear power producers to shut down their
coal-burning stations on the same scale as the nuclear capacities are left longer on the
The association of municipal works which groups 800 enterprises says the government
needs to be aware that extending nuclear generation would be a massive intervention in
UBA President, Jochen Flasbarth, has called on the power industry to focus all its efforts on achieving the goal.
He argues that climate protection demands that all fossil sources be successively replaced by renewables.
Flasbarth told a summit of power companies: In my view the only modernisation of the power supply has to be 100% green sourcing.
It was an extremely ambitious goal, he said, but unavoidable and fundamentally achievable.
The German manuscript of the address is available at http://www.umweltbundesamt.de/uba-info-presse/reden/nachhaltige_energiewirtschaft_herausforderungen.pdf
The government has given the go ahead for the Gorleben site in northern Germany to be explored further as a potential final repository for nuclear waste.
Storage of nuclear waste is politically charged. There is no definitive agreement on a suitable site and convoys transporting waste to interim sites regularly attract huge crowds of protesters and frequently both demonstrators and police are injured in clashes.
First spontaneous protests about the resumption of work have taken place in Gorleben.
Farmers with tractors and other opponents protested outside the grounds of a pit dug in
salt which they say is ready to receive waste, not just being explored as the government
The Gorleben opponents allege that the government plans to privatise nuclear waste storage. "If these plans are implemented, those producing the waste would also be in charge of determining its ultimate repository, the opponents argue.
They have just presented to the media a CD compilation of leaked government documents
showing that expert studies showing Gorleben to be unsuitable were simply ignored.
Bearbeitet am: 17.03.2010/ad
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