In my opinion this is a very bold decision by Germany and by declaring such a strategic decision, the German government must have thought thru' all the pros and cons of doing away with the power generated using Nuclear energy. Germany has 10 years to implement alternate power genration technologies and I am sure once a nation like Germany decides on something there won't be any backtracking.
This reminds me about the announcement the then US president made about Man landing on moon. Looked like one of an impossible dream ! but America made it happen!
So will the Germans.
The new Clean technologies for power genration are definitely going to get a big boost by this German move.
In India similar sentiments are gaining support aganist setting up of new nuclear power plants.
The idea is really amazing and the thought put in considering the welfare of the nation, I would say hats of Germany for this decision.
At the same time just wondering on the aftermath of pulling down the plants like you mentioned about jobs power loss, i think they might employ them elsewhere considering their livelihood.
Its difficult to find a green source of power at this point in time might be once there is rigorous effort put in R&D in such development of alternate source of power. I think SOlar can be one amoung them.
This is a tough one. I was strictly anti-nuke until I read an article from a former Greenpeace leader that made a compelling argument for nuclear power. One of the points was, at least in the US, not a single death has directly been tied to a nuclar power accident. (We are very good at NIMBY--not in my back yard.) Japan and the Soviet Union have not been so lucky. When something goes wrong, the results are almost impossible to control. Dismantling an infrastructure like Germany's is a daunting task. Ultimately, hats off to germany for making a gutsy decision. But at what cost?
Barbara, you are right that Japan and Soviets have not been so lucky. From the articles that i have read, nuclear is one of the cheapest and (arguably) safe long term option. It is as safe as air-travel as compare to train-travel or road-travel. Developed country like Germany can probably cope with bit expensive energy or buy it from its neighbor, France, who ironically create a large part though nuclear but developing nations have nowhere to go other than nuclear, i guess.
The Germans nuclear predicament is now becoming the future problem of developing economies like Brazil. The kicking the cann down the road, or the not in my backyard attitude by germany to transfer nuclear plants to places like Brazil is hypocritical at best and mean at worst. Why will Germany not want potential nuclear disasters, but willing to pass on the nuclear plants to these countries? This really baffles me.
I'm somewhat of the opinion that Germanys' move here was a knee-jerk reaction in the absence of all of the required information. (ala HP in recent weeks). Sure, draw down the amount of nuclear energy going forward. But do so in a studied and logical fashion, considering all of the alternatives available to replace it, and on a schedule that makes sense.
I don’t think they may shut down any nuclear reactor by 2022, other than the damaged ones. After announcing about the shut down plan, they are purchasing nuclear energy from neighboring countries. That means they need nuclear energy without danger and risk, how it’s possible. Alternate source of energies may not be sufficient to replace the counties energy requirements.
@Jacob - There may be another aspect to their actions as well. They probably have significant interest is selling nuclear-energy related hardware to other countries who still have interest in pursuing this alternative.
_Hm, Siemens had no option but to get out of the nuclear energy market. It's main customers (the governments and electricity service providers in Europe) were getting out and closing nuclear facilities and the market in the rest of the world isn't really growing. Plus, the anti-nuclear energy forces in Europe are picketing Siemens' other business interests in Europe. The company had to pick a focus and the odds were stacked against nuclear energy.
I also applaud Germany for dumping nuclear. This can only be achieved by some hardship and this pain must be shared by all for the greater good. I look forward to your article on UK plans. If you look at Scotland's plan our government has pledged the following to " meet an equivalent of 100% demand for electricity from renewableenergy by 2020".
FlyingScot - Good for the Scots. So Scotland's gov't is autonomous enough to do this, without relying on the UK's energy directive; the UK is building nuclear plants. (I ask because I live in Catalonia, and I know the Catalans are moving ahead with various renewable plans, although I can't say if that's in align with the Spanish central govt's plan or not). If you have good links worth reading, please send them along. Thanks.
Jennifer, Germany and a few other European nations may be exiting the nuclear market but the U.S. is getting ready for its newest nuclear reactors in decades. Today, Toshiba announced it would ship its "First Major Component for Nuclear Energy Project in U.S." for a plant in Georgia. Nuclear energy is still an option for some countries and companies like Toshiba are making money from supplying components to the industry. "One man's poison . . ."
Bolaji - Wonder how that news is going to be received in Georgia. I suspect we'll see a mix of news like this on a country by country basis, especially as coal-burning plants keep getting a bad wrap and renewable energy sources come online. All countries will need a mix of energy sources; how else will demand be meet? Or maybe, that's the piece that's missing: How do we lower individual and corporate demand for energy?
I completely disagree with such a drastic decision. This decision was made based solely on fear. The Japan disaster was horrible, but not a normal occurrence. Just like a plane crashing is horrible, but were not going to ground every plane and say no more flying. Nuclear power is one of the safest, cleanest and cheapest energy sources out there. If you want to make this disappear and replace it with greener energy, then put a plan in motion and get it going while still maintaining your current energy sources. Germany has not only put their country in a large predicament, they are going to now have to spend billions of dollars they weren't originally planning on spending.
Those enslaved by their fear are more pitifully enslaved than any other slaves. That is for certain. The fact is that slavery to fears is just as evil as any other kind of slavery, and probably just as damaging. I believe that all slavery is wrong. And I don't like fear very much either.
The very best choice would be to immediately switch off the power feeds from all of their nuclear power plants, so that the nation would be able to understand clearly what they are asking for.
A rational approach would be an inspection of all of the atomic power plants, first, to make certain that they were in compliance with all of the applicable safety rules, and then, more importantly, to verify that there had not been any stupid mistakes made, because most of the problems that made the Japanese earthquake such a disaster were really stupid design errors, such as needing outside power for cooling water circulation, and not having the cooling system designed to allow gravity filling with seawater as a last choice cooling mode, and not having an adequate on site generating system that was adequate and operational. The average German high school student could verify as to if their power plants would be able to survive an earthquake.
One other question is how many earthquakes are there in German history? Where are the fault lines around the power plants?
Answering these questions should show if the fears are valid or totally groundless.
I find myself wondering what sort of media monster was able to stir up that much irrational fear. Lets hope that the same opinion maker does not decide to point his country toward any other "solutions".
EBN Dialogue enables and encourages you to participate in live chats with notable leaders and luminaries. Not only editors and journalists, but the entire EBN community is able to comment and ask questions. Listed below are upcoming and archived chats.
Thailand Stages a Comeback Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Microsoft Surface: Potential Winners & Losers What are the implications for the electronics industry supply chain of Microsoft Corp.'s decision to launch its own tablet PC? Join industry veteran and EE Times' systems and OEM expert Rick Merritt on Tuesday, July 3, at 12:00 pm EDT for a Live Chat on this subject.
Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Peter Drucker famously said "Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window." Yet in the razor's-edge world of electronics—with a lean supply chain and just-in-time demands—the need to know the future is vital.
You've heard the saying "the No. 1 supply chain risk is your people." That hasn't always been the case. But today's complex global supply chain requires a new type of multitalented employee. It's one who understands, finance, marketing, economics, is savvy with technology, graceful with relationships and can think analytically.
Where are these people? Are universities properly preparing the next generation supply chain professionals? How do train your existing workforce for these new, demanding positions?
Brian Fuller, editor-in-chief of EBN, will lead a 60-minute Avnet Velocity panel discussion that will ask and answer these and other questions swirling around today's supply-chain talent challenges.