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Germany to go nuke free by 2022


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#1 diogenes227

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Posted 30 May 2011 - 02:15 AM

LINK


Minister: Germany to go nuke free by 2022
By the CNN Wire Staff
May 30, 2011 1:50 a.m. EDT
Anti-nuclear power protesters from Germany, Austria and France march in Switzerland on May 22.
Anti-nuclear power protesters from Germany, Austria and France march in Switzerland on May 22.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS

Germany will transition from nuclear power to renewable energy
Investments will be increased in energy research
Conventional power plants fueled by natural gas will continue to be used by Germany
Japan's nuclear disaster prompted the government to switch stance

(CNN) -- Germany's ruling coalition has agreed to shut down all of the nation's nuclear power plants by 2022.

Minister of Ecology Norbert Roettgen of the Christian Democratic Union party made the announcement early Monday after negotiations with coalition partner, the Liberal Party, which had been opposed to setting a date for decommissioning the nuclear facilities.

Opposition parties have long supported shuttering nuclear energy in Germany

"The decision looks like this," Roettgen said. "Seven older nuclear power plants ... and the nuclear plant Kruemmel will not go back online ... a second group of six nuclear reactors will go offline at the end of 2021 at the latest, and ... the three most modern, newest nuclear plants will go offline in 2022 at the latest."

To make up for the loss of nuclear energy, the German government will begin to switch to renewable energy and increase investments in energy research, the government website says.

"But we will not be able to do without conventional power plants, above all cutting-edge gas power plants for a long time," said a statement published last week. "New fruits of new research should contribute to making the energy transition more efficient and easier on the ecology."

In March, German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced she would rethink a plan to extend the lifespan of her country's nuclear power plants.

"The events in Japan have shown us that even things that seem all but impossible scientifically can in fact happen," Merkel said at a Berlin news conference.

Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant was damaged in a March 11 earthquake and tsunami, which has spewed large amounts of radiation into the environment.

At the time, Merkel ordered a review of the nuclear plant safety standards, saying there would be "no taboos in those reviews."

CNN's Ben Brumfeld and Ed Payne contributed to this report

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#2 colion

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Posted 30 May 2011 - 07:10 AM

Germany first announced switching nuclear to renewable in 2005 but this goal has come and gone through the years in response to political winds. With the new natural gas sources in Europe the goal becomes a bit more possible. We'll see how they do.

#3 totterdell91

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Posted 30 May 2011 - 07:59 AM

That decision does not say Germany will be nuke free. What it says is that they are going to get rid of their older plants first, and work through all their current generation plants in the next 10 years. It does not seem to me to say that Gen 3+ and Gen 4 plants are off the agenda, and importantly it does say that they are looking for "new fruits of new research". That could easily mean several things but clearly it means BWRs, and probably PWRs are off the agenda because solid fuel uranium reactors have problems with the possibility of steam and/or hydrogen explosions. There are families of reactors available for civilian power generation which simply shut down when there is any malfunction, like if you run a bulldozer through it, you end up with a piece of radioactive glass which is relatively easy to clean up. But no explosions, no contaminated ground water, no radioactive cloud, and no venting. It also means no expensive fuel assembly fabrication contracts, so it will be unpopular with the existing industry (expect to see big tobacco style tactics) It will just take a while for people to get over years of the being told that older designs were completely safe, when they actually required active intervention which could fail. If Fukashima had molten salt reactors, they would have come through the earthquake and tsunami just fine and been back up working in a few hours once the generating plants got cleaned up

#4 colion

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Posted 30 May 2011 - 07:49 PM

That decision does not say Germany will be nuke free. What it says is that they are going to get rid of their older plants first, and work through all their current generation plants in the next 10 years. It does not seem to me to say that Gen 3+ and Gen 4 plants are off the agenda, and importantly it does say that they are looking for "new fruits of new research". That could easily mean several things but clearly it means BWRs, and probably PWRs are off the agenda because solid fuel uranium reactors have problems with the possibility of steam and/or hydrogen explosions.

There are families of reactors available for civilian power generation which simply shut down when there is any malfunction, like if you run a bulldozer through it, you end up with a piece of radioactive glass which is relatively easy to clean up. But no explosions, no contaminated ground water, no radioactive cloud, and no venting. It also means no expensive fuel assembly fabrication contracts, so it will be unpopular with the existing industry (expect to see big tobacco style tactics)

It will just take a while for people to get over years of the being told that older designs were completely safe, when they actually required active intervention which could fail. If Fukashima had molten salt reactors, they would have come through the earthquake and tsunami just fine and been back up working in a few hours once the generating plants got cleaned up



According to WSJ, Germany's announced goal is to phase out ALL nuclear power by 2022: Nuclezar Power Kaput

#5 stocks

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Posted 31 May 2011 - 01:13 PM

Germany will transition from nuclear power to renewable energy

France is next door and gets 90% of electricity from nuclear.


Renewables have already gone a long way to wrecking the Spanish economy:

• The study calculates that since 2000 Spain has spent €571,138 to create each “green job,” including subsidies of more than €1 million per wind industry job.

• The study calculates that the programs creating those jobs also resulted in the destruction of nearly 110,500 jobs elsewhere in the economy, or 2.2 jobs destroyed for every “green job” created.

• Principally, the high cost of electricity affects costs of production and employment levels in metallurgy, non-metallic mining, food-processing, beverage, and tobacco industries.

• Each “green” megawatt installed destroys 5.28 jobs on average elsewhere in the economy: 8.99 by photovoltaics, 4.27 by wind energy, 5.05 by mini-hydro.

• These costs do not appear to be unique to Spain’s approach but instead are largely inherent in schemes to promote renewable energy sources.


Spain

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#6 stocks

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Posted 31 May 2011 - 07:42 PM

Oregon Solar

"all the people that don't have solar are paying for 40% of my electric bill in their higher rates"


"We just installed a 3KW solar electric system at our home. In our case, it should come close to cutting our electric bills by about 40%. It's a $17,000 system. The contractor gets an immediate $5,000 kickback/subsidy, which he passes on to us, so we only put up $12,000. Our first-year tax credits come to about $5,000, and then another $1000 per year for four years. That leaves us with a net cost of about $3,000.

"The system will pay for itself in about 5 years. (Hey, that's 20% per year!) After that, it's all gravy. Think about it: without all those subsidies in the form of tax credits, the payback would be more like 50 years! A totally senseless project without the subsidies.

"But there's more: Don't forget – the manufacturer of the solar panels is getting all kinds of subsidies, too. Same for the manufacturer of the inverters.

"So here we have an industry where the manufacturers, the installers, and the customers are all subsidized! Not only that, but the electric company is losing money on the deal, because in Oregon, the utility credits us for every watt generated, at retail price! The utility's loss, of course, is paid for largely by raising rates across the board for everyone, unless the utility is getting a government subsidy that I don't know about. That means all the people that don't have solar are paying for 40% of my electric bill in their higher rates.

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#7 stocks

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 10:47 AM

Renewable energy is a thing of the past

The arguments for converting the U.S. economy to wind, solar and biomass energy have collapsed.


The date of depletion of fossil fuels has been pushed back into the future by centuries -- or millennia. The abundance and geographic diversity of fossil fuels made possible by technology in time will reduce the dependence of the U.S. on particular foreign energy exporters, eliminating the national security argument for renewable energy. And if the worst-case scenarios for climate change were plausible (which they are not), then the most effective way to avert catastrophic global warming would be the rapid expansion of nuclear power, not over-complicated schemes worthy of Rube Goldberg or Wile E. Coyote to carpet the world’s deserts and prairies with solar panels and wind farms that would provide only intermittent energy from weak and diffuse sources.

The mainstream environmental lobby has yet to acknowledge the challenge that the new energy realities pose to their assumptions about the future. Some environmentalists have welcomed natural gas because it is cleaner than coal and can supplement intermittent solar power and wind power, at times when the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing. But if natural gas is permanently cheaper than solar and wind, then there is no reason, other than ideology, to combine it with renewables, instead of simply using natural gas to replace coal in electricity generation.

Without massive, permanent government subsidies or equally massive penalty taxes imposed on inexpensive fossil fuels like shale gas, wind power and solar power may never be able to compete. For that reason, some Greens hope to shut down shale gas and gas hydrate production in advance.

Shale

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#8 colion

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Posted 03 June 2011 - 12:57 PM

Germany's Nuclear Politics

#9 stocks

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Posted 10 June 2011 - 08:18 PM

A Gulf Drilling Revival

Notice how the energy breakthroughs are in oil and natural gas.

The great energy irony of recent years is that governments have thrown hundreds of billions of dollars at wind, solar, ethanol and other alternative fuels, yet the major breakthroughs have taken place in the traditional oil and natural gas business. Hydraulic fracturing in shale, horizontal drilling and new seismic techniques are only the best known examples.

Private companies must innovate to survive, and they have the profit incentive to do so, while government cash is usually steered to politically favored companies that may or may not know what they're doing. If you live off federal grants, you need to work the corridors of power more than the technology. Federal grants for cellulosic ethanol are rife with political earmarks, for example. This is why these columns have argued that the political fad of alternative energy has misallocated scarce capital when the economy can least afford it.

Drill

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#10 stocks

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 06:58 PM

Fukushima death toll now at 4

This just in: A man has died of a suspected heart attack at the plant, bringing the death toll to four.


Here’s a quick quiz, readers: how many people have died as a result of the disaster at the Fukushima nuclear reactor?

The correct, but rarely seen answer is three: one man who became trapped in the console of a crane during the earthquake, and two who were swept away by the tsunami. The entire toll from the earthquake and tsunami, remember, is estimated to be in the region of 25,000.

While it is not yet over, and radioactivity continues to come out of the devastated plant, the good news is that there are still precisely zero deaths attributable to the release of radiation at the plant, and on the basis of doses received, zero are expected.

Deaths

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