France urges EU to tackle issue of a non-nuclear Germany

17th June 2011, Comments 4 comments

France's Energy Minister Eric Besson is urging the European Commission to tackle the knock-on effects of Germany's decision to abandon nuclear power, fearing energy supplies problems, in a letter seen Friday.

"Our national decisions can have a substantial impact on the balance between electricity demand and supply in other European Union nations," Besson wrote, without referring specifically to Germany's decision to go nuclear-free by 2022.

In the letter addressed to EU energy tsar Guenther Oettinger, a copy of which was seen by AFP, Besson said the EU's executive arm should ask the European electricity grid managers to analyse the national consequences of the decision in the short-, medium- and long-term.

Besson also calls for an alert cell to be set up "capable to react to all critical situations this summer".

Chancellor Angela Merkel's cabinet signed this month on a package of bills, prompted by Japan's Fukushima disaster, that foresee Europe's biggest economy being nuclear-free by 2022, and at a faster pace than envisaged.

Germany's nine reactors currently on line are due to be turned off between 2015 and 2022.

The seven oldest reactors were already switched off after Japan's massive March 11 earthquake and a tsunami knocked out cooling systems at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, causing reactors to overheat and radiation to leak.

Some EU nations have since reproached Berlin for not consulting its European partners before announcing the decision.

The German move could have particular consequences for France which imports electricity from its neighbour.

© 2011 AFP

3 Comments To This Article

  • posted:

    on 18th June 2011, 23:59:39 - Reply

    I agree...nuclear power is the future!
  • ZAJ posted:

    on 18th June 2011, 23:58:38 - Reply

    sure you make alote of sense...iam sure when the next oil spill hit EU or pipe burst...

    you and all the other will be the ones demonstrating for a pro-nuclear future...

    very narrow minded of the 10 years france GDP will over take germany...germany is on its leg down...for the next 2 years it will constastantly have to invest in importing energy...

    this is why the chez, france slovakia and half EU countries surround germany have opted to increase nuclear productions to sell at a premium...

  • siouxx posted:

    on 18th June 2011, 10:45:02 - Reply

    What a joke but who's laughing - the great producer of nuclear power but most of it goes for export because a nuclear power station produces constantly at maximum. Thus France experiences a shortfall at peak demand and has to import energy from coal,gas and oil fired power stations and the carbon tarif is paid by the producing country. In addition, 75% of France's nuclear energy produced is lost between plant and consumer, so the plants have to overproduce and consequently create all that nuclear waste, for which there is still no plan for disposal (after over 40 years of operation). Now one leader, for whatever reason, has said stop and all the tired old dinosaurs, politicians and industrialists are running about wondering how to save nuclear. One might ask why, as its technology and basic materials are as a closed book to them - otherwise, like Einstein, they would have known they were neither technically nor mentally equipped to tangle with it. So post-Fukushima, sorry, post Chernobyl, why hold on to such an outmoded and dangerous industry - the answer is because for years they have poured research and development money into it at the expense of everything else - systematically starving out all the intelligent alternatives. I don't give a damn why Angela Merkel has changed her mind but it is probably the best and greatest decision and most far-reaching for humanity she will ever make. All this information can be found freely on the internet if anyone bothers to look and while doing so take a squint at Fairewinds Associates - Arnie Gundersen, nuclear engineer and ex nuclear plant operator will let you know how the industry's planned worst case scenario was 5% damage to one reactor - clever bloke Einstein and one Hell of a way to boil a kettle.