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Nuclear energy CHEAP? Nuclear has drained Germany of more than €1trn to date

 

September 19, 2020 Posted by | business and costs, Germany, politics | Leave a comment

Germany’s ‘very, very tough’ climate battle

August 11, 2020 Posted by | climate change, Germany | Leave a comment

Hosting nuclear weapons is a danger to Germany

Nuclear bomb in Germany would kill hundreds of thousands, Greenpeace warns, euronews,  By Alice Tidey  05/08/2020   A nuclear bomb detonating in Germany would instantly kill hundreds of thousands of people, Greenpeace has said, calling on the US to withdraw the small arsenal of atomic weapons it currently has in the country.

The environmental non-profit released a study it had commissioned simulating the impact of a nuclear weapon exploding in Germany on the eve of the 75th anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing.

“Mass killings such as the one caused by the atomic bomb in Hiroshima must never happen again,” Greenpeace Germany’s spokesman for nuclear disarmament Christoph von Lieven said in a statement.

“The Federal Government must ensure that US atomic bombs are withdrawn from Buchel with the US soldiers,” he added.

Washington announced last week that it would start withdrawing nearly 12,000 of the 36,000 US troops currently stationed in Germany over the coming weeks.

A threat to Germany’s security

Greenpeace’s NUKEMAP study calculated the impact of various strengths of nuclear bombs in several locations: Berlin, the seat of the country’s political power; Frankfurt, the country’s financial centre; and Buchel, a municipality in south-west Germany where several US atomic bombs are stored at an airbase.

The strength of an atomic bomb is measured in kilotons (kt) and megatons (mt) which means that a nuclear weapon with a detonation energy of one kiloton generates the same amount of energy as 1,000 tons (1 Kt) of TNT.

The first-ever nuclear bomb, used on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, was codenamed “Little Boy” and had a strength of 12.5 kt. The one dropped over Nagasaki three days later, codenamed “Fat Man”, had a value of 22 kt.

NUKEMAP found that a 20 kt bomb exploding in Berlin would instantly kill 145,000 people, with an additional 120,000 dying from the radioactive fallout and a further 50,000 passing away from cancer.

A 550 kt bomb — commonly found in Russia’s nuclear arsenal — dropped over Frankfurt would instantly kill half a million people, while 300,000 more would die from radioactive fallout and 160,000 would succumb to cancer at a later date.

In Buchel, the impact of a 170 kt explosion was assessed as multiple weapons of this strength are stored at the airbase. NUKEMAP estimated that 130,000 people would immediately lose their lives, 107,000 would be killed by radioactive fallout and 80,000 from cancer.

Von Lieven argued that “the bombs in Buchel threaten the security of people in Germany and Eastern Europe.”

“Germany must no longer be a potential aggressor and a possible target for a nuclear attack,” he went on.

In another Greenpeace study conducted by pollster Kantar and released last month, 83 per cent of the 1,008 German respondents said they favoured the US withdrawing the bombs kept in Buchel.

Nine countries, 13,800 warheads

Between 90,000 and 160,000 people are believed to have died int he first few months following the Hiroshima bombing, according to the Centre for Nuclear Studies at Columbia University. Another 60,000 to 80,000 are thought to have died in Nagasaki.

Most figures are best estimates as the devastation unleashed by the explosions and uncertainty over the actual population before the bombings make it difficult to have an accurate estimate.

The world’s arsenal of nuclear weapons was estimated at 13,865 at the beginning of 2019 by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

Only nice countries have atomic warheads. These are China, France, India, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, the UK, the US. Washington and Moscow each have more than 6,000 nuclear warheads.

Between 90,000 and 160,000 people are believed to have died int he first few months following the Hiroshima bombing, according to the Centre for Nuclear Studies at Columbia University. Another 60,000 to 80,000 are thought to have died in Nagasaki.

Most figures are best estimates as the devastation unleashed by the explosions and uncertainty over the actual population before the bombings make it difficult to have an accurate estimate.

The world’s arsenal of nuclear weapons was estimated at 13,865 at the beginning of 2019 by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).   https://www.euronews.com/2020/08/05/nuclear-bomb-in-germany-would-kill-hundreds-of-thousands-greenpeace-warns

August 6, 2020 Posted by | Germany, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Germany the first major economy to phase out coal and nuclear

Germany is first major economy to phase out coal and nuclear, Economic Times, 3 July 20

The plan is part of Germany’s ‘energy transition’ – an effort to wean Europe’s biggest economy off planet-warming fossil fuels and generate all of the country’s considerable energy needs from renewable sources…….

Bills approved by both houses of parliament Friday envision shutting down the last coal-fired power plant by 2038 and spending some 40 billion euros ($45 billion) to help affected regions cope with the transition.

The plan is part of Germany’s ‘energy transition’ – an effort to wean Europe’s biggest economy off planet-warming fossil fuels and generate all of the country’s considerable energy needs from renewable sources…….

Bills approved by both houses of parliament Friday envision shutting down the last coal-fired power plant by 2038 and spending some 40 billion euros ($45 billion) to help affected regions cope with the transition.The plan is part of Germany’s ‘energy transition’ – an effort to wean Europe’s biggest economy off planet-warming fossil fuels and generate all of the country’s considerable energy needs from renewable sources.

“The days of coal are numbered in Germany,” Environment Minister Svenja Schulze said. “Germany is the first industrialized country that leaves behind both nuclear energy and coal.”……
Schulze, the environment minister, said there would be regular government reviews to examine whether the end date for coal can be brought forward. She noted that by the end of 2022, eight of the country’s most polluting coal-fired plants will have already been closed………

This week, utility companies in Spain shut down seven of the country’s 15 coal-fired power plants, saying they couldn’t be operated at profit without government subsidies.

But the head of Germany’s main miners’ union, Michael Vassiliadis, welcomed the decision, calling it a “historic milestone.” He urged the government to focus next on an expansion of renewable energy generation and the use of hydrogen as a clean alternativ ..

July 4, 2020 Posted by | climate change, Germany | Leave a comment

Nuclear waste from Germany to Russia

Nuclear waste shipment leaves Germany for Russia  https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-53156266, 24 June 2020

A shipment of 600 tonnes of depleted uranium has left a nuclear fuel plant in Germany bound for Russia, a Russian environmentalist group says.

Twelve rail cars left the Urenco plant in the town of Gronau, close to the Dutch border, on Monday 22 June, according to the Ecodefense group.

The waste will reportedly be moved by sea and rail to a plant in the Urals.

Urenco told the BBC its uranium would be further enriched in Russia and the process met environmental standards.

Russia’s state atomic energy corporation, Rosatom, insisted it was “inaccurate and misleading” to refer to the depleted uranium as waste.

But environmental activists have long been concerned that Russia may become a “dumping ground” for radioactive material from power plants.

Greenpeace protested last year after German media reports that Urenco had resumed shipping depleted uranium from Germany to Russia after a gap of 10 years. Russia had halted the practice in 2009 under pressure from environmentalists.

On Monday activists in Germany posted video on social media of what appeared to be the train en route from Gronau, as well as photos of anti-nuclear protesters.

Why is the shipment being sent to Russia?

According to the report (in Russian) by Ecodefense, some of it will be shipped by sea to Russia via the port of Amsterdam.

It will, the group says, eventually arrive at the Ural Electrochemical Combine in Novouralsk, 3,400km (2,500 miles) away in Russia’s Ural Mountains.

The group believes that nearly 3,000 tonnes of depleted uranium have already been shipped from Germany to Russia this year.

The Urenco spokesperson contacted by the BBC said they could not give details of shipments for “safety and security reasons”.

But Urenco did confirm that it had a contract with a firm called Tradewill, a subsidiary of Tenex which is the overseas trade company of Rosatom.

Under the contract, it said, depleted uranium “tails” are sent to Russia for further processing. The enriched uranium product then returns to Urenco while the “depleted fraction” remains with Tenex.

“This is common and legal practice,” Urenco says. “We also retain depleted uranium at Urenco in Europe.”

Urenco, which is a partnership between German, British and Dutch companies, said its representatives had inspected the facilities involved in the process and had found that they complied with “all internationally recognised logistics standards, which includes handling, storage, safeguarding and processing of nuclear material, as well as appropriate environmental standards”.

Why are environmentalists so concerned?

One of the big questions is how much of the waste is eventually returned to Germany, with activists arguing that most of it stays in Russia.

There are also fears of toxic pollution in the event of any spill.

On 15 June, a petition to stop the shipments was sent to Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. It was signed by environmental groups and activists from Russia, Germany and the Netherlands.

The petition calls for an end to the “colonial policy of moving hazardous cargoes from Europe to Russia’s Siberian and Ural regions”.

It argues that Germany has the technology to deal with its own nuclear waste and ends with the words: “Russia is not a dumping ground!”

Greenpeace argued last year that Russia lacked a plan to utilise depleted uranium on a large scale. Continue reading

June 25, 2020 Posted by | Germany, Russia, wastes | Leave a comment

German Parliament in debate on basing of nuclear weapons

June 2, 2020 Posted by | Germany, politics | Leave a comment

Britain, France, Germany not happy that USA will end waivers for Iran civilian nuclear projects 

Britain, France, Germany Regret US Decision to End Waivers for Iran Civilian Nuclear Projects   https://www.voanews.com/usa/britain-france-germany-regret-us-decision-end-waivers-iran-civilian-nuclear-projects   By VOA News May 30, 2020
“We deeply regret the decision by the United States to end the three exemptions for key nuclear projects of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), including the Arak reactor modernization project,” the statement said.

“These projects, including the Arak reactor modernization project, endorsed by U.N. Security Council Resolution 2231, have served the non-proliferation interests of all and provide the international community with assurances of the exclusively peaceful and safe nature of Iranian nuclear activities,” the three counties said.

Wednesday the United States announced the end of the waivers, which had allowed the continuation of projects related to Iran’s civil nuclear program, even though the Trump administration abandoned the 2015 international plan of action in 2018.

Under the waivers Russian, Chinese and European companies worked on the conversion of Iran’s Arak heavy water reactor to civilian purposes and on the transfer of nuclear fuel abroad.

June 1, 2020 Posted by | France, Germany, politics international, UK | Leave a comment

Radiation leak at nuclear research reactor

Germany: Radiation leak detected at research reactor, DW, 17 May 20, 

A research reactor near Munich has emitted excess C-14 radiation, says the Bavarian city’s technical university. The “slight” leak late March had shown up Thursday when monthly readings were collated.

Munich’s technical university (TUM) said Saturday a neutron reactor located at Garchingjust north of the metropole was found to have leaked nuclides into the atmosphere “slightly” above the level permitted annually in its license.

Neither human beings nor the surrounding environment had been endangered, said the TUM and Bavaria’s environmental ministry — responsible for oversight.

Monthly figures collated on Thursday had shown an excess in C-14 particles 15% above the permitted yearly level, with the potential to cause “theoretically” a load for the public of 3 Mikrosieverts at the maximum…….

The facility was put on hold on March 17 because of the current pandemic, leaving many scientists unable to glean results for industry and medicine, said Görg.

The FRMII reactor, inaugurated in 2005, remains controversial among organizations like Germany’s branch of Friends of the Earth (BUND) and opposition Greens in Bavaria’s state assembly…….   https://www.dw.com/en/germany-radiation-leak-detected-at-research-reactor/a-53467330

May 17, 2020 Posted by | Germany, incidents | Leave a comment

As Germany transitions to renewables, massive nuclear cooling towers are demolished

WATCH GERMANY BLOW UP TWO NUCLEAR COOLING TOWERS AS MINISTER SAYS ‘THE FUTURE LIES IN RENEWABLE ENERGIES‘  NEWSWEEK, BY JASON MURDOCK ON 5/15/20  Drone footage shows the moment when two massive cooling towers at a former nuclear power plant in Germany were demolished in a controlled explosion.

Operator EnBW confirmed a demolition at the Philippsburg site, in southwest Germany, was initiated by targeted blasts in lower area of the towers and took place shortly after 6 a.m. yesterday, a scene which lacked spectators due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Officials described the change as being an “important milestone” in the nation’s energy transition, moving it one step closer to a greater reliance on renewables. Germany aims to see all nuclear plant reactors taken offline by the end of 2022.

The Philippsburg power plants’ reactors were previously shuttered in 2011 and 2019 as part of those plans, the Associated Press reported.

According to EnBW, the land will soon be used by TransnetBW, a subsidiary managing the state’s electricity grid, to house a converter that will bring power generated from renewable energies from the north to the south.

“Two relics of the nuclear power era are gone: a visible sign that the nuclear phase-out is progressing in Germany,” tweeted environment minister Svenja Schulze. “The last nuclear power plant will also be switched off by 2022. The future lies in renewable energies that are safer, cheaper and more sustainable.”……..

The Baden-Württemberg ministry explains on its website the move posed challenges for its industrial region, as its energy supply was once 50 percent from nuclear. Officials are now investing in renewable sources, including wind, solar and hydro.  ……. https://www.newsweek.com/europe-germany-philippsburg-nuclear-power-cooling-towers-demolition-explosion-video-1504280

May 16, 2020 Posted by | Germany, renewable | Leave a comment

South Korea, Germany to bolster ties in transition towards renewable energy

S. Korea, Germany to bolster ties in transition towards renewable energy

 May 12, 2020  SEOUL, May 12 (Yonhap) — South Korea said Tuesday it has agreed with Germany to expand ties in a wide array of energy-related projects, including the decommissioning of nuclear plants, in line with their quests to utilize more sustainable resources.

The cooperation came as a follow-up to an agreement reached by Industry Minister Sung Yun-mo and German counterpart Peter Altmaier in Berlin last year, in which they vowed to bolster cooperation in the energy segment.

Seoul and Berlin will especially focus efforts on cooperating deeper on their shift towards renewable energy, while phasing out nuclear energy…….

The two countries are both making efforts to reduce their coal-based power generation as well, with Germany planning to break away from the resource by 2038. South Korea also vowed to “significantly reduce” its consumption of coal.  https://en.yna.co.kr/view/AEN20200512003700320?fbclid=IwAR1RpCGPA8_id6MKRdp3q4xHlK6-BjaQOf5lbJL5TIhbKP6kHqekyrZmMagcolin@yna.co.kr

May 14, 2020 Posted by | Germany, renewable, South Korea | Leave a comment

SPD, junior partner in Germany’s coalition government, calls to withdraw US nuclear arms

May 5, 2020 Posted by | Germany, politics, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Bavaria’s renewable capacity growing as nuclear plant shutdown boosts power imports

February 22, 2020 Posted by | Germany, renewable | Leave a comment

In Germany, gridlock over nuclear-capable fighter jet

In Germany, gridlock over nuclear-capable fighter jet, DW, 12 Jan 2020 Germany’s Air Force has a special mission: deliver American nukes in the case of a nuclear strike. But its Tornado fleet is rapidly nearing the end of its shelf life. So why has Germany yet to decide on a replacement?n a given week in late November, the number of flightworthy Tornado fighter jets stationed at Büchel Air Base varied widely: Sometimes, twelve out of the 45 planes were operational; soon after, less than a handful.

“That’s pretty tight,” according to one pilot.

He spoke to DW on condition of anonymity. For the air base, tucked away amid the picturesque plateaus of the Eifel region in western Germany, has a special, secret mission: It is here that American nuclear bombs are stored in what is officially termed a “nuclear sharing agreement.”

In the case of a nuclear strike, German Tornado fighter jets and their crews would deliver the American bombs.

American bombs on German soil

Their location is a state secret. The German government has never officially confirmed the existence of the nuclear bombs in Büchel. The precise number of bombs stored in the underground vaults in the air base is thus unclear; estimates range between 10 to 20.

On the record, the Germany government only admits to being part of the sharing agreement, which dates back to the Cold War and NATO’s nuclear deterrence strategy aimed at keeping Soviet influence at bay.

In essence, it provides for member states of the military alliance without nuclear weapons to partake in planning and training for the use of nuclear weapons by NATO and, officials argue, for their views to be taken into account by nuclear-capable countries, including the US. Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and Italy are all part of the sharing agreement.

Upkeep of Tornado fleet skyrocketing

But as Germany’s Tornado fleet is swiftly nearing the end of its shelf life, the cost of maintaining a fleet for the nuclear mission is skyrocketing.

“The increase each year is brutally high,” as one parliamentarian put it.

DW has obtained a copy of an official document from the Ministry of Defense, which puts the expenditure for the Tornado fleet, including maintenance, procurement and development, at €502 million ($562 million) in 2018. This year, the figure is estimated to reach €629 million…………https://www.dw.com/en/in-germany-gridlock-over-nuclear-capable-fighter-jet/a-51897327

January 13, 2020 Posted by | Germany, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Germany To Close All Nuclear Plants By 2022

Germany Aims To Close All Nuclear Plants By 2022,  https://oilprice.com/Alternative-Energy/Nuclear-Power/Germany-Aims-To-Close-All-Nuclear-Plants-By-2022.html, By Tsvetana Paraskova – Dec 30, 2019, Germany is going forward with its plan to phase out nuclear reactors by 2022 as another nuclear power plant is going offline on December 31.Power company EnBW has said that it would take the Philippsburg 2 reactor off the grid at 7 p.m. local time on New Year’s Eve.

This leaves Germany with six nuclear power plants that will have to close by 2022.

In the wake of the Fukushima disaster in Japan in 2011, Germany ordered the immediate shutdown of eight of its 17 reactors, and plans to phase out nuclear power plants entirely by 2022.

The Philippsburg 2 reactor near the city of Karlsruhe in southwestern Germany has provided energy for 35 years. The Philippsburg 1 reactor—opened in 1979—was taken offline in 2011.

Over the past few years, nuclear power generation in Germany has been declining with the shutdown of its nuclear plants, while electricity production from renewable sources has been rising.

In January this year, Germany became the latest large European economy to lay out a plan to phase out coal-fired power generation, aimed at cutting carbon emissions—a metric in which Berlin has been lagging in recent years.

A government-appointed special commission at Europe’s largest economy announced the conclusions of its months-long review and proposed that Germany shut all its 84 coal-fired power plants by 2038.

Germany, where coal, hard coal, and lignite combined currently provide around 35 percent of power generation, has a longer timetable for phasing out coal than the UK and Italy, for example—who plan their coal exit by 2025—not only because of its vast coal industry, but also because Germany will shut down all its nuclear power plants within the next three years.

The closure of all nuclear reactors in Germany by 2022 means that Germany might need to retain half of its coal-fired power generation until 2030 to offset the nuclear phase-out, German Economy and Energy Minister Peter Altmaier said earlier this year.

January 2, 2020 Posted by | business and costs, decommission reactor, Germany, politics | 1 Comment

Germany’s nuclear phase-out enters final stretch

Germany shuts down atomic plant as nuclear phase-out enters final stretch, DW, 1 Jan 2020, The Philippsburg power station is one of the only plants still operating in the southern state of Baden-Württemberg. Germany has vowed to start decommissioning every nuclear power facility by the end of 2022.Operators began shutting down the Philippsburg nuclear power plant in southern Germany on Tuesday, as the country puts into motion its plan to begin decommissioning all 17 of its atomic energy facilities by the end of 2022. …..

The 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan led to widespread anti-atomic-power protests across Germany. Two months after the accident, Chancellor Angela Merkel announced that all plants would be closed over the next decade, making Germany the second country after Italy to shut down all of its atomic energy stations.

The German Federation for the Environment and Nature Conservation (BUND) welcomed the news. A BUND spokesman said the group hoped to see the end of nuclear power being “conjured up again and again as a supposed healing charm and climate savior.”

However, Wolfram König, who heads the German government’s office for the nuclear phase-out, warned that the country still faced the great “challenge” of trying to phase out both coal and atomic energy at the same time.https://www.dw.com/en/germany-shuts-down-atomic-plant-as-nuclear-phase-out-enters-final-stretch/a-51845616

January 2, 2020 Posted by | decommission reactor, Germany, politics | Leave a comment