Germany Plans To Finish Using Nuclear Power By 2022
Germany – The German coalition government has announced plans to shut down all the country’s nuclear power plants by 2022, making it the first major industrialised power to go nuclear-free since the recent Fukushima Japanese disaster.
Last year Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, arranged plans to extend the lifespan of the country’s 17 nuclear reactors right up to 2036; however, following this year’s Japanese catastrophe, she reversed the policy with seven of the country’s oldest reactors being taken offline four days after the Fukushima incident and they will remain so. These seven reactors were all built before 1980 and accounted for 40 per cent of Germany’s nuclear power capacity.
Prior to this, throughout March, Germany was producing just below a quarter of its electricity by nuclear power alone, a figure equal to that of the US share. Since the Chernobyl nuclear disaster of 1986 many Germans have been opposed to nuclear power and more recently, since the Japanese incident, there have been protest marches in Germany with tens of thousands of people marching and urging the Government to abolish their country’s nuclear power. It is notable that Italy stopped its nuclear power production immediately following the Chernobyl disaster.
Germany will now look to generate more of its energy from natural sources - solar, wind and hydro-electric power – which currently account for approximately 17 per cent of the country’s electricity production; the coalition’s aim is to increase this amount to about 50 per cent in the next few decades.
This move is viewed by many anti-nuclear groups as a good example for other countries to follow and the hope is that alternative solutions will now be more fervently sought to the world’s ever-increasing energy needs.
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