Röttgen Recommends to Phase Out Nuclear Energy as Fast as Possible

The Christian Democratic Union (CDU) should phase out nuclear energy as fast as possible, Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Protection and Nuclear Safety, Norbert Röttgen (CDU) told Süddeutsche Zeitung. Public resentment against nuclear energy was still enormous. After fourty years, nuclear energy still wasn’t sufficiently accepted by German citizens, he said.

His party would present an agenda for phasing-out nuclear energy and replacing it by renewable energy in autumn, he announced. In its coalition agreement, the CDU/CSU and FDP (Free Democratic Party) coalition government had stated that it was willing to discuss extending the life-span of nuclear power plants, but wanted to make a decision part of an overall energy concept.

An energy concept should not strengthen nuclear energy, but detail how to phase it out, Mr Röttgen said. He also warned to skim off excess profits resulting from the prolonged operation of nuclear power plants. The government must not give the impression that it is comprising security in return for windfall profits, he said. This was also problematic from a constitutional point of view.

Federal Minister of Economics and Technology, Reiner Brüderle (FDF) in contrast, had recently declared that he wanted to skim off at least 50% of the excess profits in order to finance renewables.

Röttgen and Brüderle, who are to prepare the energy concept of the government until autumn, may also clash over the time frame for the extension of nuclear power, predicts Süddeutsche Zeitung. While Brüderle wants to decide based on the technical condition of each facility, Mr Röttgen only wants to extend operations for eight years at the most. “Power plants were designed for a operating period of forty years”, he said.

Source: Süddeutsche Zeitung

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