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German government settles disputes with nuclear plant operators

German govt decides amended nuclear law, settles disputes with plant operators, Energy Wire 24 Mar 21,

Germany’s government cabinet today approved an amendment to the Nuclear Energy Act which provides for financial compensation to nuclear power plant operators due to the country’s phase-out decision of 2011. Plant operators will be compensated with a total of 2.4 billion euros for the amount of electricity they couldn’t sell and devalued investments, government ministries had announced earlier this month.

An amendment of the existing compensation rules was necessary after Germany’s highest court ruled in November 2020 that the compensation clauses in the nuclear exit law are unconstitutional. While the ruling left the general nuclear phase-out decision and timetable untouched, it forced the government to revisit the law again. Now the government also announced that it had agreed with energy companies EnBW, E.ON/PreussenElektra, RWE and Vattenfall to set the actual amounts of compensation and in return have the companies settle all related legal disputes.

Environment minister Svenja Schulze, whose ministry drafted the amendment said in a press release: “It is good that we are now finally drawing a line under the protracted legal disputes. This is happening at a price that is significantly lower than the energy suppliers’ original demands.”

Germany will pay compensation totalling about 2.428 billion euros. Vattenfall will receive 1.425 billion euros, RWE 880 million euros, EnBW 80 million euros and E.ON/PreussenElektra 42.5 million euros. The compensation is granted primarily for electricity volumes that cannot be used in the group’s own nuclear power plants (RWE and Vattenfall) – a total of about 2.3 billion euros – and for devalued investments in the lifetime extension withdrawn by the German Bundestag (EnBW, E.ON/PreussenElektra and RWE).

Germany’s accelerated nuclear exit was passed by a large majority in parliament in 2011. The last nuclear reactor will go offline at the end of 2022.

Minister Svenja Schulze said that, with the accelerated nuclear phase-out, Germany has created “predictability and reliability on the energy market and cleared the way for electricity from wind and sun”. Johannes Teyssen, CEO of German energy company E.ON, told business daily Handelsblatt that days of nuclear energy are numbered, as no business-oriented company will invest in it. “If nuclear power plants are still being built anywhere, it will be by state-owned companies or with massive state support,” he said, and added it is “too expensive, too risky and too politically explosive”. Teyssen also said he was sceptical of plans for small nuclear power units.NEWS

March 25, 2021 Posted by | business and costs, Germany, politics | Leave a comment

In Germany, the Greens are likely to be propelled into government in the national vote

Times 14th March 2021, The national vote is expected to propel the Greens into government for the first time since 2005 — either as junior partner to the CDU/CSU or even as the leader of a so-called “traffic light coalition” with the Social Democrats (red) and the liberal Free Democrats (yellow).

The Baden-Württemberg poll — and another today in neighbouringRhineland-Palatinate — are the first key indicators of what lies ahead. Tucked in the southwest corner of Germany between France and Switzerland, Baden-Württemberg is at first sight an unlikely Green stronghold. The
state is home to Mercedes-Benz and Porsche, and hundreds of thousands of jobs in the area around Stuttgart, the state capital, depend on the car industry. But in 2011, in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan, Kretschmann became Germany’s first — and so far only —Green state premier after running on a platform to shut nuclear plants, impose speed limits on the autobahn and reform an elitist school system. He was re-elected five years later after his party’s share of the vote surged to a record 30 per cent.

March 15, 2021 Posted by | Germany, politics | Leave a comment

Germany pledgse to work towards a nuclear free Europe

Germany pledges to work towards nuclear-free EU on Fukushima anniversary   Benjamin Wehrmann,  12 Mar 21, Nuclear phase-out EU    10 years after the nuclear meltdown in Fukushima that prompted Germany to confirm its prior nuclear phase-out decision, the environment ministry has published further steps necessary to reduce nuclear risk, including the use of nuclear energy in other countries. Environment minister Svenja Schulze said, it was a “myth” that the technology could help to find a way out of the climate crisis and stressed that investments should go into the further development of renewable energies instead.

Ten years after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan, German environment minister Svenja Schulze insisted that the country does not consider nuclear energy an option for low-carbon power production. “Nuclear power is neither safe nor clean,” Schulze said, rejecting the “myth” that the technology could help to find a way out of the climate crisis. “The future is for renewable energy,” she said. Germany’s phase-out decision, originally taken in the year 2000 and confirmed after the 2011 meltdown of the power plant in Japan, had “brought peace to a social conflict that raged for decades” and helped minimise a major risk at least nationally, Schulze said.

Nuclear power could not be in Germany’s interest when it is generated abroad either, “be it in our immediate neighbourhood, in the EU or globally”, the minister said, adding that “our work has not ended with the German nuclear exit”. The environment ministry published a position paper listing 12 key objectives required to reduce nuclear risk even further. They include actions under the three sections of a) completing the German nuclear phase-out: Close nuclear plants, promote final storage, accelerate the expansion of renewable energies; b) reducing nuclear risks in Europe, strengthen cooperation; and c) increasing nuclear safety worldwide, maintain nuclear risk competence and provide appropriate information.

Today we commemorate the catastrophic #nuclear accident that took place in #Fukushima 10 years ago. This disaster has shown us the risks of #NuclearEnergy. Also @SvenjaSchulze68

With a view to the decision by Germany’s largest neighbour country France to extend the running time of old nuclear reactors, she said that while the “principle of energy sovereignty” would have to be respected, there are “technical and economic limits to retrofitting”. Especially plants near the German border would be “monitored very closely and critically”, the minister said, adding that the German government expected France to enable “comprehensive cross-border cooperation” on the matter.  More than half of all EU states do not use nuclear power at all or are considering a phase-out, Schulze said.

“Together with likeminded countries in Europe, I will actively work towards more countries joining the phase-out of nuclear power,” she stated. Schulze minister colleagues from Austria and Belgium, Leonore Gewessler and Tinne van der Straeten, joined her German counterpart in a joint message published on Twitter, in which the three state representatives said they will work towards ending the use of nuclear power in Europe and pave the way for an energy system solely based on renewables.

Nuclear “poison for a secure and climate-just future” – NGOs

Ten years after the disaster, Japanese officials in Fukushima still grapple with key questions regarding the removal, storage and processing of the plant’s nuclear waste. These problems remain unresolved and many former residents are still not allowed to return to their homes, Schulze said. “If we’ve learned something from all this then it has to be the common goal to protect people from further devastation from nuclear power.” For Germany, nuclear power’s “residual risk” simply had been too significant to carry on with the technology, she argued. Of the six remaining reactors in the country, three will go offline as planned in 2021 and the remaining three at the end of 2022. A 2019 survey found that 77 percent of people in Germany support the nuclear phase-out and 60 percent also its quick finalisation by the end of next year.

A group of more than 50 civil society and environmental groups backed the government’s stance on excluding nuclear energy from Germany’s emissions reduction plans, arguing that claims about the technology being “climate neutral” and “environmentally friendly” would be “poison for a secure and climate-just future”. In a joint letter, the group including NGOs like Germanwatch, BUND, NABU or PowerShift said nuclear power could have no future in energy systems and called on the government to double down on its efforts to phase-out the technology, including a shutdown of uranium enrichment facilities in Germany and an end of EU nuclear power project funding. Investments instead should flow into renewable power, storage technology and efficiency gains, the group argued.

March 13, 2021 Posted by | Germany, politics | Leave a comment

Widespread public support for Germany’s nuclear phaseout, as renewable energy expands

TechXplore, 5 Mar 21,    ”……….By the end of 2022, Germany will have achieved its goal of completely phasing out nuclear power, set by Chancellor Angela Merkel on May 30, 2011.

The plan represented a dramatic change of course by Merkel’s ruling conservatives, who just a few months earlier had agreed to extend the lifespan of Germany’s oldest power stations.

It was met with widespread public support in a country with a powerful anti-nuclear movement, fuelled first by fears of a Cold War conflict and then by disasters such as Chernobyl.

Yet it also prompted a lengthy legal battle with major energy companies, which ended Friday with Berlin’s agreement to pay 2.4 billion euros worth of compensation to nuclear power plant operators………

The German government is still looking for a long-term storage site for the country’s residual nuclear waste.

Renewables have seen a spectacular rise since 2011 and in 2020 made up more than 50 percent of Germany’s energy mix for the first time, according to the Fraunhofer research institute—compared with less than 25 percent 10 years ago.

The declining importance of nuclear power (12.5 percent in 2020) “has been compensated for by the expansion of renewable energies”, Claudia Kemfert, an energy expert at the DIW economic research institute, told AFP.

Nuclear power stations have therefore not been replaced by coal, though the fossil fuel does still represent almost a quarter of the electricity mix.

March 6, 2021 Posted by | Germany, politics | Leave a comment

Germany to pay nuclear operators 2.4 bln euros for plant closures

March 6, 2021 Posted by | business and costs, Germany, politics | Leave a comment

Get the Nuclear Weapons Out of Germany

Get the Nuclear Weapons Out of Germany , Let’s Try Democracy, By David Swanson, Executive Director of World BEYOND War, and Heinrich Buecker, der World BEYOND War Landeskoordinator in Berlin-27 Jan 21, Billboards are going up in Berlin that proclaim “Nuclear Weapons Are Now Illegal. Get Them Out of Germany!”

What can this possibly mean? Nuclear weapons may be unpleasant, but what exactly is newly illegal about them, and what do they have to do with Germany?

Since 1970, under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, most nations have been forbidden to acquire nuclear weapons, and those already possessing them — or at least those party to the treaty, such as the United States — have been obliged to “pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.”……….

Change, including on such practices as slavery and child labor, has always been far more global than one might infer from the typical self-centered U.S. history text. Globally, nuclear weapons possession is becoming thought of as the behavior of a rogue state — well, a rogue state and its collaborators.

Can the German government be brought up to international standards? Belgium has already come very close to evicting its nuclear weapons. Sooner rather than later, a nation with U.S. nukes will become the first to toss them out and to ratify the new treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons. Even sooner, some other member of NATO will probably sign onto the new treaty, putting it at odds with NATO’s involvement in the hosting of nuclear weapons in Europe. Eventually Europe as a whole will find its way to the anti-apocalypse position. Does Germany want to lead the way to progress or bring up the rear?

New nuclear weapons that could be deployed in Germany, if Germany allows it, are horrifyingly characterized by U.S. military planners as “more usable,” despite being far more powerful than what destroyed Hiroshima or Nagasaki.

Do the people of Germany support this? Certainly we have never been consulted. Keeping nuclear weapons in Germany is not democratic. It is also not sustainable. It takes funding badly needed for people and environmental protection and puts it into environmentally destructive weaponry that increases the risk of nuclear holocaust. Scientists’ Doomsday Clock is closer to midnight than ever before. If you want to help dial it back, or even eliminate it, you can get involved with World BEYOND War. ………..

January 28, 2021 Posted by | Germany, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Germany hosts France, Britain for talks on Iran nuclear deal

Germany hosts France, Britain for talks on Iran nuclear deal, DW, 25 Nov 20, 

German Foreign Minister Heiko Mass met his counterparts Dominic Raab and Jean-Yves Le Drian in Berlin for talks on the Iran nuclear deal. The trio hopes for a change in US policy once Joe Biden is sworn in.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas held talks with his French and British counterparts in Berlin on Monday, with the partners urging Iran to stop breaching a nuclear deal it signed in 2015.

“From our view, Iran is systematically violating the agreement,” a spokeswoman with the German Foreign Ministry said. “Together with our European partners, we urge Iran to stop these violations and return to fulfilling all its nuclear obligations.”

Maas met with Britain’s Dominic Raab and France’s top diplomat Jean-Yves le Drian ahead of an expected change of policy towards Iran when US President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in as president in January.

Maas’s spokeswoman said she “confident” that a “constructive” US approach would help rein in the Iranian government, German news agency DPA reported.

The agreement, which world powers reached with Iran, sought to limit Tehran’s nuclear program to prevent it from developing nuclear weapons in return for the easing of economic sanctions…….

Changing US policy

Biden, who takes office on January 20, has said he would re-join the accord if Tehran first resumed strict compliance.

He wants to work with allies “to strengthen and extend it, while more effectively pushing back against Iran’s other destabilizing activities.”…..

November 26, 2020 Posted by | Germany, politics international | Leave a comment

Uranprojekt -The Nazi Nuclear Program

November 19, 2020 Posted by | Germany, history, Reference | Leave a comment

German Court rules that government must review compensation for exit from nuclear power

German Court Demands Gov’t Review Compensation for Nuclear Exit, Courthouse News, November 12, 2020 FRANKFURT , Germany (AFP) — Germany’s highest court said Thursday the government must  revise the terms of compensation paid to energy companies forced to switch out of nuclear power, calling current arrangements “unreasonable.”

Ruling on a case brought by Swedish group Vattenfall, the constitutional court took aim at a payout condition set by Berlin in 2018 that would essentially require energy companies to make the change first before knowing how much compensation they would receive.

Judges in Karlsruhe urged the government to “revise the regulation as soon as possible”, saying the 2018 amendment to nuclear energy legislation, which is still not in force, was tainted by irregularities.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government, which had earlier championed atomic power, decided after the Fukushima disaster to immediately close eight of Germany’s oldest nuclear plants and to shutter the other nine by 2022.
 “What is unreasonable here is that the plaintiffs cannot know at the point

 of negotiations what kind of conditions they must accept, and the regulation
 therefore requires them to either accept potentially unreasonable conditions
 or risk leaving empty handed,” said the court.While the ruling would not disrupt the timetable for the end to atomic power, it could complicate the exit due to complete in 2022……

Environment Minister Svenja Schulze said the government respects the decision, and that it will “thoroughly analyse the ruling and swiftly initiate a legal regulation that meets the requirements of the court.”

November 14, 2020 Posted by | Germany, Legal | Leave a comment

Nuclear Technology Germany Association says Small Nuclear Reactors (SMRs) will always be more expensive than large ones.

November 7, 2020 Posted by | Germany, Small Modular Nuclear Reactors | Leave a comment

Nuclear wastes from Sellafield UK to arrive in Germany

Nuclear waste shipment arrives in Germany, protests likely, Mon., November 2, 2020  BERLIN — A shipment of reprocessed nuclear waste arrived Monday at a port in northern Germany, and authorities were braced for likely protests as it is transported across the country to a storage site.

A ship carrying six containers of waste from the Sellafield reprocessing plant in England docked in the early morning in Nordenham, news agency dpa reported. From there, it is to be transported by train to the now-closed Biblis nuclear power plant south of Frankfurt, several hundred kilometres (miles) away.

Germany has a strong anti-nuclear movement and waste transports have often drawn large protests. Activists question the safety of the waste containers and storage sites.

Following the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan nine years ago, Germany decided to phase out its own nuclear power generation by the end of 2022. The Biblis plant is one of several that was taken offline in 2011, but the site remains in use as a provisional storage facility for nuclear waste.

Germany recently launched a new search for a permanent site to store its most radioactive waste. A final decision is slated for 2031 and the aim is to start using the selected site in 2050.

November 3, 2020 Posted by | Germany, UK, wastes | Leave a comment

Hitler’s quest for nuclear weapons

WW2: Hitler’s true nuclear capacity exposed in secret sabotage mission that ‘saved world’

WORLD WAR 2 saw the Allies cooperate to fight Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Germany but jaw-dropping documents reveal just how close he came to using nuclear weapons. Express UK By CALLUM HOARE Oct 21, 2020   The German nuclear weapons programme was an unsuccessful scientific effort to research and develop atomic weapons during World War 2. It went through several phases but was ultimately “frozen at the laboratory level” with historians and scholars alike generally agreeing it failed on all fronts. With that, Hitler is thought to have focused more on his revolutionary V1 and V2 rockets, but he came terrifyingly close to arming them with nuclear warheads, according to declassified papers unearthed by writer and filmmaker Damien Lewis.

The author of ‘Hunting Hitler’s Nukes’ wrote: “That Hitler’s Germany might win the race to build the world’s first atom bomb was arguably one of Winston Churchill’s greatest wartime concerns and one that was shared with his good friend US president Franklin D Roosevelt.  …….

“The greatest fear was that the Nazis had mastered the technology to fit a nuclear or radiological charge to the V2s, in which case there would be no defence possible.

“Churchill ordered aerial surveys to forewarn of such attacks – dry-run rehearsals to prepare for such an ordeal, and for frontline doctors to be briefed on the symptoms of radiation poisoning.

Such fears were very real. Following German physicist Otto Hahn splitting the atom in December 1938, the Allies believed the Germans to be two years ahead in the race to build the atom bomb.”

In May 1940, German forces struck a further blow in the race for nuclear supremacy after seizing Olen, Belgium, where the largest remaining stock of European uranium was located.

British intelligence reports on Operation Peppermint found by Mr Lewis revealed fears from London.

One read: “Since the fall of Belgium, much of the largest stock of uranium has been available [to Germany] from the refinery.”

The report went on to chronicle how “several hundred tonnes of crude concentrates had been removed from Belgium”.

According to Mr Lewis, its destination was the AuerGesellschaft refinery, at Oranienburg, Germany.

Allied research suggested it would require 20,000 workers, half a million watts of electricity and $150million (£114million) in expenditure to build the world’s first atom bomb.

Hitler, who now controlled most of western Europe, could demand such resources.

And, in concentration camps, he had access to millions of workers.

Mr Lewis noted: “In short, the Fuhrer could harness Germany’s foremost engineering capabilities to its scientific expertise and western Europe’s almost unlimited resources – all of which made an atom bomb a real possibility.”……..

According to Mr Lewis, its destination was the AuerGesellschaft refinery, at Oranienburg, Germany.

Allied research suggested it would require 20,000 workers, half a million watts of electricity and $150million (£114million) in expenditure to build the world’s first atom bomb.

Hitler, who now controlled most of western Europe, could demand such resources.

And, in concentration camps, he had access to millions of workers.

Mr Lewis noted: “In short, the Fuhrer could harness Germany’s foremost engineering capabilities to its scientific expertise and western Europe’s almost unlimited resources – all of which made an atom bomb a real possibility.”

“Details of Operation Peppermint and the measures taken to prepare for a Nazi nuclear strike were revealed in papers that I unearthed from the National Archives.

“This came as a great surprise to me, for I was unaware that the Allied wartime leaders viewed Nazi Germany’s nuclear programme as such a real and present threat.”

However, a top secret heroic mission would lead to a breakthrough……..

Hunting Hitler’s Nukes: The Secret Race to Stop the Nazi Bomb’ is published by Quercus and available to buy here

October 22, 2020 Posted by | Germany, history, Reference, weapons and war | Leave a comment

In Germany , a new dispute over the old abandoned Gorleben nuclear waste site

16 October 2020  Pledge Times (India/Germany)

New dispute over Gorleben

In an interview, the President of Germany’s Federal Office for the Safety of Nuclear Waste Management says it was problematic that Gorleben (current interim but beleaguered radwaste site) has been ruled out in the first review stage of the process to identify a geological repository site. The Green Party responded that the President “did not understand the procedure for which he is in charge. The search for a repository follows scientific criteria.”

October 20, 2020 Posted by | Germany, wastes | Leave a comment

Lower Saxony opposes building of nuclear power plants by Netherlands – location all too close

German state of Lower Saxony against nuclear power plant in bordering Netherlands, Nuclear phase-out  08 Oct 2020, Kerstine Appunn, NWZ Online

The northern German state of Lower Saxony has been rattled by Dutch plans to assess the construction of up to 10 new nuclear power plants, one of which could be located near the German border. “I will do everything in my power to prevent the Netherlands from seeing a new dawn of nuclear power,” Lower Saxony’s environment minister Olaf Lies (SPD) told Stefan Idel at NWZ online. The Netherlands has only one of formerly two nuclear power stations operating but governing party VVD has suggested that reaching the Paris Agreement climate targets would require the construction of new nuclear plants.

Lies said he was surprised by the Dutch announcement, calling it a “a gigantic step backwards into old times” to invest into new nuclear power plants and “irresponsible” to produce more nuclear waste. The minister said he expected strong resistance in the Northwest of the state. Members of the Green Party in Lower Saxony’s parliament announced they would work together with their Dutch sister party “GroenLinks” to stop this “economic and ecologic lunacy”.

While a study for the Dutch government said that nuclear power had a similar price as renewable installations, critics insist that nuclear power is by now much more expensive. Lies said he would focus on promoting joint renewable energy projects. Germany will phase-out its last nuclear power plants by the end of 2022 and is currently in the decade-long process of finding a permanent repository for the nuclear waste generated in the past 60 years.


October 10, 2020 Posted by | Germany, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Nuclear no option for hydrogen production: German government

Nuclear no option for hydrogen production: German government
Energy ministry state secretary Feicht says, however, that the rule of nuclear will be discussed at an EU level,
  Recharge  6 October 2020 By Bernd Radowitz   

A high-ranking official of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government has ruled out nuclear power as a source to produce hydrogen via electrolysis, squaring Germany off against its closest EU ally, France, which considers to include atomic power as part of its own national hydrogen strategy.

“Nuclear isn’t an option for our energy system, be it the production of electricity for our electricity demand, [or] for the production of hydrogen,” Andreas Feicht, secretary of state in Germany’s economics and energy ministry, said at a virtual conference on hydrogen organized by his ministry……..

Green’ or ‘carbon-free’ hydrogen?

Germany by the end of 2022 will phase out its last atomic power stations, and in its €9bn ($10.6bn) national hydrogen strategy has laid down that it strives to ramp up a ‘green hydrogen’ economy mostly based on renewables such as offshore wind, with a temporary and limited role for ‘blue hydrogen’ produced from natural gas linked to carbon capture and storage (CCS)…………..

the Dutch government is planning to launch a consultation on building new nuclear power plants after a study commissioned by its economics and climate ministry claimed atomic energy is as cheap as wind or solar power – and supposedly the safest way to produce electricity in the country.

The study was conducted by a nuclear energy consultancy with links to the nuclear industry, though. At the same time, a flurry of studies advises against a nuclear renaissance.

‘Nuclear and renewables don’t mix’

The University of Sussex Business School and the ISM International School of Mangement this week published an analysis of 123 countries over 25 years in Nature Energy that concludes that nuclear and renewables don’t mix, and only the latter can deliver truly low carbon energy.

The researchers found that unlike with renewables, countries around the world with larger scale nuclear attachments do not tend to show significantly lower carbon emissions – and in poorer countries nuclear programmes actually tend to associate with relatively higher emissions.

The researchers found that unlike with renewables, countries around the world with larger scale nuclear attachments do not tend to show significantly lower carbon emissions – and in poorer countries nuclear programmes actually tend to associate with relatively higher emissions.

Champagne of power fuels

Michael Bloss, a Green Party member of the European Parliament, at the same hydrogen conference stressed that only “green hydrogen is clean hydrogen.”

Blue hydrogen as considered as a temporary option by the German government is no real option due to high amounts of methane leakage during its production, which he argued is “much more detrimental for the climate than CO2.”

Despite €3.7bn in EU investments into CCS since 2009 (according to the European Court of Auditors), the technology remained at the “beginning of its development” and is still “not ready to be applied,” Bloss said.

Renewable energies such as offshore wind, meanwhile, are the most cost-competitive energy source and should be used for hydrogen production, he added, without going into the nuclear versus renewables controversy.

Bloss, however, stressed that it has been said that “hydrogen is the Champagne among power fuels,” which must be used only in difficult-to-decarbonise sectors where it cannot be replaced by other applications, such as steel, cement or chemicals.

October 8, 2020 Posted by | Germany, technology | Leave a comment