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Germany and Switzerland to phase out Nuclear Power.:

 1 Some Sort Of Troper, Mon, 30th May '11 2:17:44 PM Relationship Status: Complex: I'm real, she is imaginary
Germany which currently gets 23% of its electricity from nuclear power and Switzerland which is at 40% have both rather recently decided to give up nuclear fission.[1] [2].

Germany is going to try and increase efficiencies, build more wind power and will probably just continue with the rise in solar but they'll probably manage to make it up. Would be nice if that effort went into reducing the carbon dioxide output...

The Swiss- no clue. Buy more energy from (nuclear powered) France?
Don't just tell us the facts; tell us the memes, tell us the archetypes, tell us the catchy ideas and symbolic roles that get planted in pe
I'd rather they phase out their coal power plants first.

 
 3 Usht, Mon, 30th May '11 2:21:08 PM from an arbitrary view point.
Lv. 3 Genasi Wizard
That'd make too much sense.
The thing about making witty signature lines is that it first needs to actually be witty.
 4 FF Shinra, Mon, 30th May '11 2:22:55 PM from Ivalice, apparently Relationship Status: Too sexy for my shirt
Beware the Crazy Man.
The best way to make nuclear plants safe is not to stop building them...it's to just keep making them better. The more we stay stuck in the 1970s, the more reactors will go. Therefore, by shutting down the industry, we ironically make the problem worse.
Final Fantasy, Foreign Policy, and Bollywood. Helluva combo, that...
 5 Delles, Mon, 30th May '11 2:26:29 PM from Madmen Pavillion
The problem is that nuclear power is still one of the most clean and safe (safer than oil cargos that sink anyways, it's just that the public makes a much bigger fuss on anything nuclear-related). just relegating the nuclear risks and wastes to other countries isn't going to work on long-term if we're truly attempting to not depend on nuclear power.

[up]Exactly.
In war, courage. In peace, wisdom. In life, friendship.
 6 Some Sort Of Troper, Mon, 30th May '11 2:27:34 PM Relationship Status: Complex: I'm real, she is imaginary
I was going to make a glib line about betting on French nuclear power companies doing well in about 10 years time but I realized we could possibly buy some stock, invest our money in it and receive actual fiscal reward for our "bet".
Don't just tell us the facts; tell us the memes, tell us the archetypes, tell us the catchy ideas and symbolic roles that get planted in pe
 7 Bobby G, Mon, 30th May '11 3:05:26 PM from the Silvery Tay
vigilantly taxonomish
Oh, how ridiculous. And as usual, the Greens are behind this, nevermind that as far as the environment is concerned, continued reliance on coal is a step backwards, not forwards.

Even if they don't end up using more fossil fuels, this is going to be more bad publicity for nuclear power.
 8 Best Of, Mon, 30th May '11 3:46:25 PM from Finland Relationship Status: Falling within your bell curve
FABRICATI DIEM, PVNC!
I actually agree with the decision to get rid of nuclear power if you can make it some other way - as long as "some other way" is not coal, oil or something else that has a huge impact on global warming.

So wind power = good, solar = good, tide and other alternative forms of water = good, etc. Just don't replace nuclear with a worse option.
I'd take the awe of understanding over the awe of ignorance any day. - Douglas Adams
 9 kurushio, Mon, 30th May '11 4:12:14 PM from Berlin, Germany Relationship Status: I've got a total eclipse of the heart
Happy Human
^^ Actually, its the Conservatives this time. (It's the second try, actually, and Germany's power infrastructure has had more then 10 years to prepare for that, with massive investments in non-fossil fuel alternatives.)

There will be no increase in fossil fuel plants - the plan is a reduction from 60, 3 to 34, 4 percent by 2030. It's not a big problem as it seems - our power grid has over 20% surplus capacity, even without the 7 nuclear power plants that have been put offline in the last few weeks. (With them, its nearly 35%. Most of it, funny enough, is sold to France.)

While I am actually in favor of high-end nuclear power plants, I can live with that. It's a panic reaction, alright, but it has been a majority demand since the mid-eighties, and as long as it gets done without burning more coal, so be it. Most people - oh, the public memory! - forget that this got already decided at the turn of the century, the new government just a put stop to the phase-out and is now restarting it.

edited 30th May '11 4:13:17 PM by kurushio

 10 Bobby G, Mon, 30th May '11 4:29:38 PM from the Silvery Tay
vigilantly taxonomish
Ah, my mistake - the BBC article made it sound as though the Greens were ultimately responsible. Sorry about that.

Nevertheless, I think this is a bad idea. If it's been majority voted in I suppose they'd better do it, and if you can sustain yourselves without upping your coal use, then I'm impressed - but all the same, it's more bad press for nuclear power which really isn't needed right now.

I'm not entirely happy with nuclear power as it currently exists, but right now we need to be improving it and making it safer and more efficient, not making it even more unpopular than it is already.
 11 Usht, Mon, 30th May '11 4:31:29 PM from an arbitrary view point.
Lv. 3 Genasi Wizard
As they say, nuclear fusion is always twenty years away.
The thing about making witty signature lines is that it first needs to actually be witty.
The best way to make nuclear plants safe is not to stop building them...it's to just keep making them better. The more we stay stuck in the 1970s, the more reactors will go. Therefore, by shutting down the industry, we ironically make the problem worse.
If you have an old reactor and then build a new one, you have both an old reactor and a new. Building new reactors doesn't magically get rid of old ones, they make money. :/
I was young and needed a nick.

www.xkcd.com/386/
here will be no increase in fossil fuel plants - the plan is a reduction from 60, 3 to 34, 4 percent by 2030. It's not a big problem as it seems - our power grid has over 20% surplus capacity, even without the 7 nuclear power plants that have been put offline in the last few weeks. (With them, its nearly 35%. Most of it, funny enough, is sold to France.)
If fossil fuels currently supply 60% of Germany's power and nuclear fission about 25%, and they plan to phase out nuclear altogether and reduce fossil fuels to 34% over the next couple of decades, isn't that over half of Germany's power generating capability today? What's the alternative they're planning to phase in over the next decade or so to compensate?

edited 30th May '11 4:46:57 PM by TrapperZoid

 14 Best Of, Mon, 30th May '11 4:50:23 PM from Finland Relationship Status: Falling within your bell curve
FABRICATI DIEM, PVNC!
Well, the recent advancements (made largely by German, Danish, Norwegian and British Universities, corporations, research institutes etc) in water electricity (as in, tide plants and stuff like that) and especially wind power, including several entirely new types of wind power plant, have made many types of renewable power plants easy to construct and so efficient that you only need a couple of years of use to have made more than the initial cost of building the plant.

So they can replace nuclear and coal power with renewables; it's just that the initial cost is really goddamn huge. Huge, but very short-term, while the solution most certainly is not short-term.
I'd take the awe of understanding over the awe of ignorance any day. - Douglas Adams
 15 Bobby G, Mon, 30th May '11 4:51:36 PM from the Silvery Tay
vigilantly taxonomish
If that's really what happens, then I'll be very impressed. It's not often you see a government planning for the long term; the democratic system appears to discourage such moves.
 16 Some Sort Of Troper, Mon, 30th May '11 4:52:41 PM Relationship Status: Complex: I'm real, she is imaginary
Well the Greens did get political mileage out of recent anti-nuclear sentiment and leading calls for the scale down, as well as putting it through when they were in the coalition in power. This isn't an action by the conservative party, this is a u-turn to undercut support for another party and from what I read about Merkhel, she's just a populist who floats around on public opinion while other parties try to exploit it.

If you take nuclear power out of the equation, the proportion of non-CO 2 producing energy creation methods goes down. If you are putting effort into making up for the lack of nuclear then you are not putting that effort into reducing CO 2 output. The next ten years of renewable energy investments and planning will not reduce the CO 2 output. So if Germany had, say, 20 years to do something about that, it has just made it twice as hard.
Don't just tell us the facts; tell us the memes, tell us the archetypes, tell us the catchy ideas and symbolic roles that get planted in pe
94. Grandmaster of Shark
Don't get me started -.-

^^^

You phase out nuclear power for these technologies after you tested and perfected them, having them run for a few years to get praxis experience and generally making sure that it is a ecological and economical advantage. Not the other way round.

edited 30th May '11 4:54:48 PM by eX

 18 Best Of, Mon, 30th May '11 4:54:55 PM from Finland Relationship Status: Falling within your bell curve
FABRICATI DIEM, PVNC!
Well, some of them are seeing commercial use already.
I'd take the awe of understanding over the awe of ignorance any day. - Douglas Adams
94. Grandmaster of Shark
Yes. But so far, they have been a part of the overall power supply, not the sole supplier of electricity. Moreover, all these wind parks still have to be build/ extended to a level were they can do this.

My point is, this is pretty much putting the cart in front of the horse. You get rid of of nuclear power after you build the necessary green energy capabilities, not the other way round. And at the moment, these capabilities only barely exits here.

edited 30th May '11 5:16:15 PM by eX

If the plan was to increase alternative generation by 10 to 20 percent while scaling down fossil fuels, and then based on how well that goes doing that again and scrapping nuclear, then to me it would sound more credible. But to announce they're replacing half the power generation capacity over what is a short timeline in infrastructure terms sounds more like a newsbite than a plan. My fear if I were in Germany would be that the alternatives don't pan out the way expected and the date to scrap the nuclear plants would be pushed from 2020 to 2030. And then again to 2040. And now there's a bunch of obsolete dangerously old reactors that no-one wants to upgrade because they're always going to be dismantled "any day now".

Edit: Of course I don't know the details as I'm only going by a handful of articles in the non-German press. smile It could be they've got all their bases covered and I'm simply a pessimist.

edited 30th May '11 5:16:44 PM by TrapperZoid

 21 Deboss, Mon, 30th May '11 5:20:31 PM from Awesomeville Texas
I see the Awesomeness.
Dammit, why did the politicians go and listen to the dirty hippy constituents? Nobody should get a vote on infrastructure decisions unless they hold an engineering degree.
94. Grandmaster of Shark
Fukushima.

 23 Best Of, Mon, 30th May '11 5:27:25 PM from Finland Relationship Status: Falling within your bell curve
FABRICATI DIEM, PVNC!
While it's true that Germany, just like any country, suffers from the limits that democracy and poor leadership imply, one should not underestimate the overwhelming quality of German engineering and science.

In engineering, energy and other related fields, Germany is the supreme leader of Europe. In science, only the UK compares to Germany's achievement. In all of these fields, Germany is on the same level as Japan while having a significantly lower population (about the same ratio as Brazil-USA.)

If there is a country that can pull this off, it's Germany.
I'd take the awe of understanding over the awe of ignorance any day. - Douglas Adams
 24 Bobby G, Mon, 30th May '11 5:27:57 PM from the Silvery Tay
vigilantly taxonomish
^^ What about Fukushima? In spite of an earthquake which caused severe damage to the plant, the actual consequences were relatively slight, especially when one considers the scale of the earthquake.

It's been called the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl. If anything, this is a success story for the safety of nuclear power plants as they currently stand, since Fukushima is not even remotely comparable to Chernobyl in terms of the number of human lives lost or endangered.
Just some backstory... original talks about phasing out nuclear power startet in the year 2000, and 2002 there was already a legal decision to phase out ALL nuclear power after some rather precisely defined time (2.62 GWh total energy production, calculated for an average usage period of 32 years per plant). In June 2010, 62% of this was used up, i.e. according to the 2000/2002 agreement nuclear power would have been phased out before 2020. In 2010, this time was extended by a different (more conservative) government coalition by 8 (for plants built before 1980) or 14 (all the other power plants) years.

This is not an idea people in Germany got this year after Fukushima, though it was the catalyst that even the conservatives agree with this.

edited 30th May '11 5:32:44 PM by Uchuujinsan

I was young and needed a nick.

www.xkcd.com/386/
Total posts: 106
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