Nuclear technology still crucial part of German energy policy: Merkel


Berlin : Nuclear technology remains a crucial part of Germany’s energy strategy, Chancellor Angela Merkel said Thursday during her tour of a wind park near northeastern port city of Rostock.

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She reiterated that while her government is actively promoting renewable energy sources, it regards nuclear energy as a precious carbon dioxide neutral “bridge technology.”

Around 25 percent of the nation’s electricity is reportedly generated through
nuclear reactors.

Under an agreement signed by a previous government, nuclear energy is supposed to be phased out in Germany by 2020, a move the current center-right Merkel government wants to postpone.

German people are evenly divided over the issue of nuclear energy, with slightly more than half of the nation supporting the gradual closure of reactors.

Germany has presently 17 licensed reactors at 12 locations, however some of them are offline for quite some time because of repair work.

In other related news, German nuclear plant owners have made media headlines over the past days after threatening to pull the plug over government plans to introduce a special tax on fuel rods.

According to the Hamburg-based weekly news magazine Der Spiegel, the operators of the Germany’s 17 nuclear power plants – RWE, E.ON, Vattenfall and EnBW – have vowed to shut down their nuclear plants altogether, if such a planned 2.3 billion euro per year tax on fuel rods is imposed.

The nuclear operators have even threatened to sell electricity derived from atomic energy to other countries.