Last update 7/16/2011 9:07:00 AM (GMT+7)

Germany nuclear export plan still ‘depends’
VietNamNet Bridge - Germany has raised the possibility of exporting nuclear technology for the first time after deciding a total exit from atomic power by 2022.

The answer, however, doesn’t come out yet as Ursula Heinen-Esser, German vice minister for environment, nature conservation and nuclear safety, informed on July 13, that the government is still taking into account the options.

Germany has decided to pullout nuclear power because it is not safe. Instead they are going to produce electricity with renewable. So whether to support nuclear export is a moral question as well as an economic question.

“It’s very difficult to answer now what we will do. I cannot say at this moment because in the government we are discussing this issue, how and if we can support nuclear development in other countries,” Heinen-Esser explained.

“We couldn’t say: ‘Ok, we don’t want nuclear power, we don’t want nuclear power plant’, but we support nuclear power plant in others countries.” she stressed.

“The answer is ‘It depends’”, Heinen-Esser stressed when asked about German plan to export this sophisticated and expensive technology to developing countries that now desire it.

Saying “No” with nuclear means that Germany has to pay a tough price for their energy conception.

In contrast to the United Kingdom, Germans agree to use energy resources more intelligently and reduce energy consumption.

Heinen-Esser said that the German economy would benefit enormously in developing its renewables, such as solar and wind power, and exporting the green technologies.

“We believe investing in these new technologies will transform our economy and give us large export opportunities”, Heinen-Esser said.

If Germany succeeds it will be the first major economy in the world where demand for electricity will have been cut.

“Our Energy Concept is unique in Europe and throughout the world”, said Heinen-Esser.

“It maps out how the transformation of our energy system can be achieved by 2050”, she added.

In fact, German efforts to conceptualize global energy consumption are already recognized, particularly in Europe.

France, which depends deeply on nuclear power (78% in the share of energy), is now considering of turning its back on nuclear power.

“We will study all possible scenarios for what we call the energy mix”, said Eric Besson, Energy Minister, on 11 July.

“It will be done with total objectivity, in full transparency, without avoiding any scenario (…) including the scenarios of a nuclear exit”, he stressed. He added, however, this is not the one favored by the government.

The Journal du Dimanche of France published the Ifop poll, conducted from 1-3 June, which showed that 2/3 French voters want to pull out of nuclear energy (62% percent people interviewed agreed to withdraw in 25-30 years, 15% want to stop immediately)

In the nationwide referendum, 95% Italian voters want to withdraw from nuclear energy.

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said good-bye to nuclear power.

“We have to focus on renewable energy”, said the PM.

Two months after Fukushima, Switzerland government informed their nuclear exit by 2034 though this decision will cost them an amount of 3 billion euros per year.

Meanwhile, the pullout strictly hits German nuclear power companies, as they have to bear from the cost of up to 500 million euros since 7 oldest reactors closed 3 months ago after the Fukushima.

On the other hand 370,000 people already work in the renewable sector and German government expects this to increase to 500,000 by 2030.

Le Thu Luong (from Berlin)