Monday, February 12, 2007

Germany To Shut Down Nuclear Power

While France may be heavily reliant on nuclear power and there are those that wish we would go that way, Germany is all but abandoning nuclear power in favor of renewables:
Five years ago, the government negotiated a Nuclear Exit Law with the power industry, requiring all 19 of its atomic power stations to shut down by 2020. No easy task for a country of 82 million, which currently relies on nuclear for 30 percent of its power. But it's happening: in May, authorities began closing down Obrigheim, a plant near the Rhine River in the area south of Frankfurt, making it the second reactor to go off-line.

With a three-part energy mix set to take nuclear's place -- a short-term increase in cleaner coal- and gas-powered plants, an increase in renewable-fuels production, and an emphasis on domestic energy efficiency -- economists, engineers, and energy specialists consider Germany's decision to phase out nuclear a no-brainer. The strategy not only avoids further costs to human health, the climate, and the economy...
Greenpeace is trumpeting the fact that Spain is joining four other European countries to abandon nuclear.
...renewable energy is now taking the lead, with a single source such as wind energy adding more than 6,000 megawatts to the European grid every year, the equivalent to two large nuclear reactors. In only a few years, wind power in Spain has grown to 8 percent of the national electricity production. In 2005 alone, some 1680 megawatts of new wind power were installed, generating four times as much electricity as the Zorita nuclear power plant which Spain closed last month.

Spain joins Sweden, Germany, Italy and Belgium as the fifth European country to abandon nuclear power.
So, adopting a European policy might not provide the results everyone wishes.

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