Home Technology Germany is about to close down its final nuclear energy crops, and...

Germany is about to close down its final nuclear energy crops, and as an alternative is burning fuel and coal: these are the doubts that this technique leaves us


Germany has already confronted the ultimate stretch of its plan to execute the scheduled shutdown of all its nuclear energy crops. The accident that passed off on the Fukushima nuclear energy plant (Japan) on March 11, 2011 precipitated the definitive blackout of the German nuclear services. The agenda that the German authorities was managing till that second contemplated a staggered closure that will conclude with the closure of the final nuclear energy plant in 2036. However Fukushima modified all the pieces.

When the accident occurred on the Japanese nuclear plant, eight of the seventeen nuclear reactors that Germany had working at the moment have been within the shutdown section as a result of they have been being checked. Two had had a number of technical incidents that required inspection and upkeep, and the opposite six have been present process stress exams to make sure that they could possibly be operated safely.

The plan was for these eight nuclear reactors to return to exercise once they have been prepared and had handed all the protection exams established by the Nuclear Vitality Company (AEN), however the Fukushima accident precipitated the German Authorities to resolve hold them off completely. Nevertheless, this was not his solely resolution. The remaining 9 nuclear reactors can be regularly shut down, however the staggered closure wouldn’t be accomplished in 2036; it might achieve this in 2022. Fourteen years sooner than what the German authorities’s preliminary technique proposed.

The six German nuclear energy crops in operation produce 8.5 GW

The German nuclear blackout is simply across the nook. The German government has carried out with agency pulse the closure of the nuclear energy crops that he scheduled in the course of the months after the Fukushima accident, and at the moment solely six of them stay energetic. All of them generate between the 1,344 MW of the Gundremmingen facility, which is essentially the most modest in quantitative phrases, and the 1,485 MW of the Isar-2 nuclear energy plant, which collectively add as much as 8.5 GW. And it’s plenty of electrical power. Rather a lot.

Collectively, the six German nuclear energy crops that stay energetic generate 8.5 GW. And it is plenty of electrical power

The power transition by which now we have embarked as a society could be very optimistic as a result of it seeks to drastically scale back the emission of greenhouse gases with a view to mitigate as a lot as doable the affect of the local weather emergency. Shut down a nuclear energy plant per se It could actually match right into a context by which renewable power sources are gaining increasingly relevance, however we should not lose sight of the truth that it’s important to interchange them with different power sources, and it isn’t all the time possible for this different supply to be renewable and non-polluting .

It is a truth: the early closure of its nuclear energy crops has compelled Germany to show to fuel and coal. In any other case, it might not be capable of meet all its power wants as a result of its renewable power base has not but been in a position to maintain them. Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, outlined very clearly what penalties must carry ahead the closure of its nuclear energy crops within the World Economic Forum which was held in Davos (Switzerland), on January 23, 2019:

Eliminating nuclear energy crops has a value. A really excessive one if we stick completely to its environmental affect

“We’ll perform the progressive shutdown of our nuclear power with the goal of finishing it in 2022. However now we have an enormous problem forward as a result of the one power sources which might be able to responding to our power wants they’re coal and lignite [es un tipo de carbón muy abundante de origen mineral]. Germany has deserted native coal manufacturing, however not lignite, which is comparatively low cost. The issue is that lignite is an power supply that emits plenty of carbon dioxide […] Pure fuel will once more play an important position for us for many years to return […]».

Merkel’s statements on the Davos Discussion board left no room for doubt: at the moment eliminating nuclear energy crops it has a value. A really excessive one if we stick completely to its environmental affect. Nuclear power generates waste, that’s indeniable, however leaving apart for this time the controversy in regards to the financial and environmental penalties that its administration entails, we can’t ignore that it doesn’t entail the emission of polluting gases. And this final attribute is essential within the context of the climatic emergency by which we’re immersed.

Firstly of final Could we had the chance to talk with Pedro Fresco, a famend knowledgeable in power markets and renewable energies who at the moment serves as Normal Director of Ecological Transition within the Generalitat Valenciana. Pedro defined to us in a transparent and completely affordable method why doing with out nuclear energy crops immediately is feasible, however it isn’t advisable. His speech describes the Spanish power actuality, however what now we have seen to date displays that it additionally matches very properly within the present context of Germany:

“Now, in 2021, we can’t shut all nuclear energy crops. Doing so would lead us to extend carbon dioxide emissions »

“Proper now, within the 12 months 2021, we can’t do with out nuclear power. We can’t shut all nuclear energy crops, however not as a result of we’re going to have a provide downside, however as a result of doing so would result in enhance carbon dioxide emissions. Now we have sufficient mixed cycle capability to close down all nuclear energy crops tomorrow, however the issue is that we’d be introducing carbonized power, and this may go towards our decarbonisation targets, ”Pedro explains.

“For that reason, an enormous shutdown just isn’t possible. Nuclear energy crops will finally shut down, however they’ve to shut little by little. The explanation why a closure schedule has been made, along with technical and logistical causes, is to not have an effect on the emissions of {the electrical} system in a big method. In 2021 it isn’t possible to shut all of them, however it’s possible to do it little by little ”, argues Pedro with conviction.

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The Fukushima accident precipitated the German Authorities to resolve to advance the closure of its nuclear energy crops fourteen years in anticipation of doable technical incidents that might compromise their security, however it’s evident that it has not had time to deploy the renewable power base you want to interchange your nuclear park and remedy your power wants.

In reality, it appears affordable to imagine that to generate the 8.5 GW at the moment produced by the six nuclear services that stay energetic Germany it will must burn plenty of lignite. And in addition plenty of fuel. That is exactly what Angela Merkel ready us for in his speech at the Davos Economic Forum.

Germany’s technique raises a number of affordable doubts

The power transition now we have launched into brings many challenges that aren’t simple to tackle. Every nation is selecting the technique it considers most acceptable, however the scenario by which Germany at the moment finds itself invitations us to achieve a number of conclusions. This nation is among the most industrialized nations on the planet, and, as such, it is usually one of many nations that emits essentially the most carbon dioxide. The arrival of the pandemic has distorted the figures as a result of it has precipitated that in 2020 many industries scale back their manufacturing capability, however we will momentarily divert our gaze to 2019, simply earlier than the COVID-19 illness raged.

In 2019, simply earlier than the pandemic, Germany was the sixth nation that emitted essentially the most carbon dioxide. On the high of this classification is, as we will guess, China

In accordance with the guide Knoema throughout that 12 months Germany was in sixth place within the classification of essentially the most polluting nations on the planet. Forward have been, so as from highest to lowest carbon dioxide emission capability, China, america, India, Russia and Japan. After which Germany seems. The image most likely won’t have modified a lot within the final 12 months and a half, however there isn’t any doubt that when the latter nation closes its final nuclear energy crops in 2022 it will likely be compelled to enhance your polluting emissions as a result of it must burn extra lignite and extra fuel.


The Gundremmingen nuclear energy plant in Germany will stop its exercise definitively earlier than the top of 2021.

Germany’s dedication to renewable power is agency, and within the medium time period its plan seeks that almost all of its power manufacturing has a renewable and non-polluting origin, however it isn’t but clear when will that milestone come. And within the meantime, as Angela Merkel foreshadowed, this nation shall be compelled to extend its greenhouse fuel emissions. The affect that this technique may have on the setting will rely, logically, on how lengthy using polluting power sources is extended.

When all German nuclear energy crops are closed in France in 2022, a minimum of 58 nuclear reactors will stay energetic.

The opposite nice doubt hanging over Germany’s technique lies in its foundations. As now we have seen, the opportunity of an incident that compromises the protection of its nuclear services has triggered the comparatively hasty closure of all of them. Nevertheless, when in 2022 all German nuclear energy crops are closed, in France a minimum of 58 nuclear reactors. Solely america has extra such services. And, as everyone knows, France and Germany are neighbors, and each reside within the very coronary heart of Europe.

It’s clear that it isn’t simple in any respect to establish the technique that may permit us to journey the trail of the power transition within the most secure and least traumatic method doable. And it isn’t clear what it will likely be the position that nuclear power may have sooner or later. Some specialists, resembling Alfredo García, higher identified on Twitter as Nuclear Operator, advocate the significance of nuclear power as a backup for renewables, however others argue that within the medium time period we can do with out it utterly. No matter occurs, we will make certain that time will put every technique as a replacement. Allow us to belief that the individuals who have the accountability to design them will make the fitting selections.

Photographs | Nuclear Forum | Felix King


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