Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Nuclear Phase Out?

Germany has been a hotspot of nuclear debate for years. In year 2002, the SPD under Chancellor Schroeder and his coalition partner the Green Party passed a law putting a stop to further constructions of nuclear plants and phasing out the existing plants by 2022. When the SPD was the coalition partner in the Grand-Alliance of CDU-CSU-SPD under Angela Merkel, the SPD made sure that the law was in force. Many energy companies were vocal in their opposition to the law.

With the election victory of Merkel over the SDP and the formation of the new CDU-CSU-FDP government, a policy change with respect to the law took place. Merkel decided to extend the timetable to phase out the reactors by 12 years. Large scale protests were planned against this decision. And then..... disaster struck at Sendai and Fukushima.

With Europe once more debating safety worries, Merkel is under pressure to amend her policy on nuclear power. She has declared that all nuclear facilities in Germany will be re-evaluated. Even strong centre-right supporters of her, who usually are "pro-nuclear" are distancing themselves from nuclear stuff. They seem to be too hot to handle these days.

Well, Angela Merkel should know the best. She has a PhD. in quantum chemistry and she was a former Minister of environment and Reactor Safety under Helmut Kohl.

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