Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Associated Press: Germany Prepared to Go 'No Nukes'

"Germany, the 4th largest economy in the world, is ready to fast track its plan to shift its energy resources from 25% nuclear to none in a shorter time span, making up the difference with expanded reliance on renewable resources. It is betting billions on expanding the use of renewable energy to meet power demands instead.

Juergen Baetz of the Associated Press reports: "The transition was supposed to happen slowly over the next 25 years, but is now being accelerated in the wake of Japan's Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant disaster, which Chancellor Angela Merkel has called a "catastrophe of apocalyptic dimensions."

"Berlin's decision to take seven of its 17 reactors offline for three months for new safety checks has provided a gl"impse into how Germany might wean itself from getting nearly a quarter of its power from atomic energy to none.

"And experts say Germany's phase-out provides a good map that countries such as the United States, which use a similar amount of nuclear power, could follow. The German model would not work, however, in countries like France, which relies on nuclear energy for more than 70 percent of its power and has no intention of shifting.

"If we had the winds of Texas or the sun of California, the task here would be even easier," said Felix Matthes of Germany's renowned Institute for Applied Ecology. "Given the great potential in the U.S., it would be feasible there in the long run too, even though it would necessitate huge infrastructure investments."

Nuclear power has been very unpopular in Germany ever since radioactivity from the 1986 Chernobyl disaster drifted across the country."

More from the AP article here

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