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Germany abandons nuclear energy

June 2, 2011

Germany’s decision to shut down Terawatts of low carbon electricity in the middle of Europe was a political move to appease the green party but is likely to increase overall carbon use.

Germany’s move will result in about 400 million tons of extra carbon emissions by 2020, as the country relies more on fossil fuels. Nor is Donald Tusk, Poland’s prime minister, who ominously announced that Germany has put coal-fired power “back on the agenda” — good for his coal-rich nation directly to Germany’s east but terrible for the environment and public health.

More power will need to be imported from its neighbors as renewables are not generating 24/7.

Ironically, the Germans will end up buying electricity generated in nuclear plants in nations such as France.

Carbon emissions cannot be cut without keeping nuclear power on the table. The partial meltdowns in Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex should be addressed so that other nuclear facilities can be safer, more reliable and more efficient.