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Angela Merkel: German Nuclear Exit Gradual; 2022 Irreversible End-date

04 июня 2011
Новости отрасли

BERLIN (Dow Jones)—Germany`s nuclear exit will take place in several steps, with the end of 2022 as an irreversible final date for the switch-off of the last nuclear power station, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Friday after meeting the premiers of German states.

The cabinet Monday will decide on a series of laws to make the nuclear phase-out possible, among them amendments to legislation regulating nuclear power and a law to boost renewable energy. The government will also bring in a law to boost energy efficiency in buildings, for which it has already earmarked EUR1.5 billion.

Another law seeks to accelerate the construction of more transmission lines in order to bring electricity from onshore and offshore wind parks in Northern Germany to industrial centers in the South.

“It will be completely clear that each nuclear power station will have a final operating date, and with that, there will be complete clarity and no possibility of any evasion,” Merkel said.

Merkel is seeking a broad consensus on the nuclear turnaround, but opposition-led states have said the government`s vague plans for the phase-out had left most of the switch-off of nuclear plants for the early 2020`s and even said the government may leave a door open for a later reversal of the policy.

But states led by the opposition Social Democrats now have indicated that after the Friday meeting, there is a chance for a consensus.

After the cabinet decision Monday, Germany`s lower house of parliament will first debate the nuclear exit laws Wednesday and is slated to vote on them by the end of June. The Bundesrat, Germany`s upper house representing the states, is slated to hold a vote July 8.

Merkel, in the wake of Japan`s nuclear disaster at Fukushima and amid immense public pressure, has ordered the oldest seven of Germany`s 17 nuclear reactors shut. An eighth was already in maintenance. All of those will now remain shut, Merkel said.

The remaining nuclear plants will be shut in 2015, 2017, 2019, 2021 and 2022, she said Friday.

To avoid the risk of blackouts in the coming two winters, the government wants to keep a so-called “cold reserve” of power stations on stand-by. Merkel said she agreed with the state premiers that the reserve should preferably be met by conventional power generation. But she couldn`t exclude that the government may keep a nuclear plant as reserve, something the opposition has rejected.

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