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Germany: Back to the future
  • Germany’s dash for coal continues apace. Following on the opening of two new coal power stations in 2012, six more are due to open this year, with a combined capacity of 5800MW, enough to provide 7% of Germany’s electricity needs.

    Including the plants coming on stream this year, there are 12 coal fired stations due to open by 2020. Along with the two opened last year in Neurath and Boxberg, they will be capable of supplying 19% of the country’s power.

    In addition, 27 gas fired stations are due on line, which should contribute a further 17% of Germany’s total electricity generation. (Based on 2011 statistics, total generation was 575 TwH).

    After being ordered to shut their nuclear reactors due to uranium shortage, country is going in the right way delivering readicactive particles directly to citizens lungs.

  • 56 Replies sorted by
  • It is very wise, democratic decision. As we all know, coal and gas power plants are much more environmentally friendly and future-proof as compared to nuclear power plants. (Sarcasm)

  • the German unilateral way - away from nuclear power is bullshit: Germany is surrounded by countries with nuclear power plants - the German policy in terms of nuclear energy and Euro simply bad. Correct would be: nuclear energy and make further exit from the euro

  • @Butt

    It is not bad or good, it is just external order. Same as in Japan.

  • @Vitaliy_Kiselev "...it is just external order " I do not understand. So it was not just a stupid decision can be caused by the pressure of stupid public opinion ( (Read. democracy tm.)? You're suggesting that this is intentional? Lobby of fossil fuels? And what about the vast network of wind turbines, which are not able to send electricity to the southern lands ?

  • @Butt " Correct would be: nuclear energy and make further exit from the euro" I could be wrong, but it seems to me that Germany is the main beneficiary of the euro area.

  • I do not understand.

    Things are simple. Now in the world it is Uranium 235 shortage.
    Big amount of nuclear fuel comes now from dismanted warheads exactly for this reason.
    And it is reason for direct order to shut down nuclear plants.

  • Ok, now everything is clear. I do not understand why was this whole hysteria after Fukushima. It was illogical to me but perhaps because I am not a representative of the government.

  • @Mihuel Maybe you would understand more about the resistance against nuclear plants in Germany if the trains with radioactive waste would drive next to your living room, and if your balls are in that room nobody cares. It is not the technology itself, it is the nuclear waste problem that does not seem to have solution.

    You don't understand the hystery about Fukushima? Go and spend your vacation there and save us of further bullshit comments about this subject.

  • Yes please, and shoot some close ups from breaches in reactor kernel.... wonder at what distance GH2 sensor starts to show first signs of noise caused by radioactivity. Make sure to send SD cards bevor traveling home... you might not make it.

    Coal is indeed the wrong direction.. we need decentralized regenerative power supplies. Recipes are available since a long time, they might not be easy to cook and more expensive, but it's possible. Point is: industry is preventing their success for their own good.

  • @tetakpatak

    You understand that coal is the cause of most cancer cases in the world and number one source of radioactive particles that you are exposed to in your life?

    As for radioactive waste - very good tech exist that produced special brickets that can be stored for long long times.

    @Meierhans

    Point is: industry is preventing their success for their own good.

    This is not the case.

  • @tetakpatak
    "... it is the nuclear waste problem that does not seem to have solution. " Vitaliy give an exhaustive answer to this question. I have nothing more to add.

    " Go and spend your vacation there and save us of further bullshit comments about this subject. "

    -:D chill out man

    I make myself think imprecisely do not understand the hysteria that is here in Europe. 1) What is the probability of a tsunami in Germany? 2) What is the probability of an earthquake in Germany? 4) Did the Germans are protected energy? They have energy reserves? 5) Is the closure of nuclear power plants will not cause addiction Germany fossil fuels? (Buy RUSSIAN GAS! Cheap! Pricey? Buy Polish coal ....)

  • Hmmm, irregardless where Vitailiy might be getting the data for his claim of "coal and radioactive particles" I do not believe that in the 2,000 year history of coal use, that coal has ever caused the desolation and huge scale of uninhabitable pieces of the earth for the next 20,000 years, like Tschernobyl and Fukashima have created.

    As for the "dismantling" of warheads for nuclear power plants, actually it was the other way round: after all the bad PR and desolation caused by the USA atomic bombing in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Pentagon had to come up with some "positive" spin on the nuclear (weapons) industry so the invented "the friendly atom"/nuclear power; then released a class-A war-criminal in Japan, who happened to own 90% of the media, and gave him the new job to convince the Japanese that nuclear power was just fine.

    The USA is not dismantling nuclear warheads for fuel, it's just business-as-usual: more money for more "bigger-and-better" weapons: http://www.publicintegrity.org/2013/04/09/12467/obama-proposes-shifting-funds-nuclear-nonproliferation-nuclear-weapons

  • There's a number of very wrong claims in this thread.

    There is no Uranium shortage, especially not in Germany. Read this article on the German Wismut mining company, which was closed after the reunification - but certainly not because its Uranium resources were exhausted.

    Coal power plants are still being built because that's still legal and they are very profitable - 2012 Germany sold a record amount of coal-based electricity to its neighbours. Also, coal and gas fired power plants are a suitable supplement to the somewhat volatile renewable energy sources, as they can be ramped up quickly when the price of electricity is high, and mostly shut down when electricity is cheap.

    But the time of coal power plants will also run out in some decades, if only because of ever increasing pollution restrictions. And yes, radioactive isotopes are one known problematic part of that pollution.

    The migration away from nuclear power is still a very reasonable one: Insurance companies are unwilling to insure the monetary risks of running nuclear power plants (for a reason, the costs of the Fukushima incident are now not paid by Tepco or an insurance, but by the tax payers of Japan), and there is not yet any plausible plan on how to store nuclear waste such that the cost of its storage, in the long run, does not exceed all the money you can make from nuclear power right now. The "Asse" in Germany currently proves how billions of tax payers money has to be spent on a failed attempt of storing nuclear waste - with no alternative in sight.

  • There is no Uranium shortage, especially not in Germany. Read this article on the German Wismut mining company, which was closed after the reunification - but certainly not because its Uranium resources were exhausted.

    Uranium 235 shortage is quite well known fact. As for remains in this mining fields. You have no idea that is cost of production of this remaining uranium. And that is cost of reestablishing whole necessary infrastructure.

    Insurance companies are unwilling to insure the monetary risks of running nuclear power plants

    And it is issue than you have "insurance companies" to dictate that to do.

    how billions of tax payers money has to be spent on a failed attempt of storing nuclear waste

    I see billions of tax payers money buried in the "green energy" instead :-)

  • Thanks god this place is called personal view. ;-)

  • HAHA @Meierhans, I hope so. Are we still in love with super east-west hybrid Temelin? Or do we still love the chick that rides motorcycle hard and fast through Chernobyl lands? Germans will put passive house where personal views are now on uranium dreams. But we all like to play Halo, right ;-) Austria, Denmark, Lux, Licht, Belgium don't have this addiction. Only France is big Charles de Gaul hold out. Suisse don't count since they are constructing black holes!

  • I see billions of tax payers money buried in the "green energy" instead

    I'd rather have them burning capital on "green energy" any day of the week than using it to re-furbish deadly nuclear weapons and claim they are "recycling" (a very "green" term!) weapons-grade-plutonium for nuclear power plants!!

  • Simple question: why should we get energy from atomic or coal plants, when we have a whole star, the sun, which sends to us an enormous quantity of energy constantly? It is much more than we need and it is free. We are not able to use it properly, yet, but all the other ways to get energy seem to me very primitive!

    Simple calculation shows that a little portion of the Sahara desert, if covered with solar cells, could give enough energy for the whole planet... Where I live, in May 2011, during the weekends, all the electric plants where shut down except solar and wind plants. Well, the energy was more than enough. Of course it was only an experiment, because during the weekends there is much less demand of energy, but it is any way significative. On the other hand, solar cells here are not very common. Just imagine what would happen with every roof covered with them!

    As for Germany, they are building a very big solar plan in Morocco and will than carry he energy to Germany through Spain and France.

    It seems to me quite obvious that solar energy it is the way to go.

  • why should we get energy from atomic or coal plants, when we have a whole star, the sun, which sends to us an enormous quantity of energy constantly? It is much more than we need and it is free. We are not able to use it properly, yet, but all the other ways to get energy seem to me very primitive!

    Simple calculation shows that a little portion of the Sahara desert, if covered with solar cells, could give enough energy for the whole planet...

    Can you, please, show us this calculation, also show us required price of construction, energy required for construction, support costs, delivery costs.

  • And can you tell us all the cost of nuclear energy, included cost for keeping safe the wastes for centuries and included cost for accidents which once in a while happen?

    "In theory, a 35,000-sq.-mi. (90,600 sq km) chunk of the Sahara — smaller than Portugal and a little over 1% of its total area — could yield the same amount of electricity as all the world's power plants combined. A smaller square of 6,000 sq. mi. (15,500 sq km) — about the size of Connecticut — could provide electricity for Europe's 500 million people. "I admit I was skeptical until I did the calculations myself," says Michael Pawlyn, director of Exploration Architecture, one of three British environmental companies comprising the Sahara Forest Project, which is testing solar plants in Oman and the United Arab Emirates. Pawlyn calls the Sahara's potential "staggering."

    font: http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1872110_1872133_1872141,00.html

  • @Nino_Ilacqua

    It is link to article with anything but claims. I asked for full calculations.

  • I know the following is a very naive calculation and it probably contains errors, but I think it gives the idea of the order of magnitudo of what the real numbers could be:

    Electric energy needed in 1 year in the world: 14000 TWh Electric energy produced in 1 year in Southern Italy by 1 mq solar panel: 250 KWh 14 000 000 000 000 000 / 250 000 = 56 000 000 000 mq Extension of Italy: 300 000 km2 = 300 000 000 000 mq

    Anyway, it is a known fact that we need in total (not only for electricity) about 0,007 % of the total energy we receive from the sun. After all it is not a simple nuclear plan, it is a star!

  • Come on @Vitaliy_Kiselev You cannot be serious that nuclear technology should be for anything other than research and small scale medical. To concentrate so much poison in places and engage it in a process that creates even more that is essentially permanent is a ludicrous proposition. Please enjoy this presentation and accompanying academic paper from Stanford University, with calculations, that show how to get New York on 100% renewables TODAY. All other efforts are just lobbying special interests with high disregard for the survival of life on this planet.

    http://www.stanford.edu/group/efmh/jacobson/Articles/I/NewYorkWWSEnPolicy.pdf

  • None of us who take part in the discussions on this site will live anymore in max 50 years, probably some of us will not be alive even in 10 years.

    So I have just one question for all of you poor little creatures who are willing to produce radioactive waste which must be under strict control for next 100.000 years: what makes you belive you have any right to do it?

    I really can't belive that anybody who really thinks can find nuclear waste and GAU risk acceptable. Nuclear plants are simply not worth it. I've lived long ago in a region which didn't have enough electrical energy, so each day there were 8 hrs without electricity. As result, many new friedships among neighbours have been created, and more kids were born year after. It wasn't so bad at all, candles are romantic (and think of all the low-light shots). I am absolutely against nuclear plants, radioactive waste and all little biological creatures who belive they can behave like gods.

  • really can't belive that anybody who really thinks can find nuclear waste and GAU risk acceptable. Nuclear plants are simply not worth it. I've lived long ago in a region which didn't have enough electrical energy, so each day there were 8 hrs without electricity. As result, many new friedships among neighbours have been created, and more kids were born year after. It wasn't so bad at all,

    Interesting position.

    So I have just one question for all of you poor little creatures who are willing to produce radioactive waste which must be under strict control for next 100.000 years: what makes you belive you have any right to do it?

    Thing is you can just go and check charts in my posts, now coal is number one radioactive waste source.

    And, btw, with life level drop due to much less evergy causes much more deaths than any nuclera plans could.