Výběr zpráv ze sítě NucNet - 46. týden 2005

New German Government To ‘Expand Research’ Into N-Plant Operations

A proposed pact between three political parties set to form Germany’s new coalition government promises to “continue and expand” nuclear research and to resolve issues concerning the final disposal of radioactive waste “with energy”.

The pact acknowledges “differences” between the parties on the use of nuclear energy for power production and says, for this reason, the existing law requiring a gradual phase-out of nuclear power plants in Germany – passed by the outgoing Red-Green government of Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder – and the contract of 14th June 2000 with the energy supply enterprises, cannot be changed.

However, the pact says a “sound overall energy policy concept must be based on a balanced energy mix”.

Future policy concerning nuclear energy is part of the energy section of the pact, which is a proposed programme for a so-called ‘grand coalition’ government comprising Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU), the Christian Social Union (CSU) and the Social Democratic Party (SPD). The CDU-CSU became the largest political grouping in Germany’s parliament following national elections held in September 2005, but no single party secured an overall majority to govern in its own right.

The pact, published on 11th November 2005, must still be approved by the governing bodies of the three individual political parties. Germany’s parliament will then vote on whether to approve the formation of the coalition government – which Mrs Merkel is designated to head as Germany’s first woman chancellor.

Concerning nuclear energy and nuclear research, the pact says: “The safe operation of nuclear power plants has the highest priority for the CDU, CSU and SPD. In connection with this, we will continue and expand research into the safe operation of nuclear power plants.”

The document says the coalition partners aim to resolve questions relating to the final disposal of radioactive waste in the country “with energy and guided by the result (and) we intend to reach a solution within the current legislative period”. It also pledges to promote “innovation and technological development in the energy sector” and bring “modern energy technology to the market more quickly” to contribute to climate protection.

Renewable energy will be an “important element” of climate protection and energy policy, the pact says, and it lists “ambitious goals” for Germany including a renewables contribution to the country’s energy needs of at least 12.5% by 2010 – increasing to at least 20% by 2020.

Possible lifetime extensions of nuclear power plants are not referred to in the pact, although this was an issue promoted by a senior adviser to Mrs Merkel during the election campaign.

However, it should be pointed out that even under the existing phase-out law it has been possible to transfer lifetime production rights from one nuclear plant to another.

Zdroj: NucNet

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