Germany has announced plans to become the first major industrialised power to shut down all its nuclear plants by 2022. The announcement comes as rising Asian economies continue to debate the role of nuclear in their energy futures, especially post-Fukushima.
Report & Analysis: Germany to end nuclear power by 2022 [Sydney Morning Herald, 30 May 2011]
This means that Germany will have to find the 22 per cent of its electricity needs covered by nuclear reactors from another source. The International Energy Agency warned that Germany's moratorium on nuclear power will add 25m tonnes a year to the country's carbon dioxide emissions.
Report & Analysis: Nuclear power loses its appeal after Japan crisis [The Guardian, 29 May 2011]
The seven oldest reactors in Germany, which were already subject to a moratorium, and the Kruemmel nuclear power plant, would not resume. Six others would go offline by 2021 at the latest and the three newest by 2022, he said.
Germany’s environment minister, Mr Rottgen said: "It's definite. The latest end for the last three nuclear power plants is 2022. There will be no clause for revision."
Report & Analysis: Germany pledges to end all nuclear power by 2022 [BBC, 30 May 2011]
Germany isn’t the only one where nuclear power is losing its charm. Switzerland has become the latest country to shelve nuclear plant plans, amidst others like Thailand, Italy and Malaysia which have also decided to shelf or forgo the nuclear plants.
Moves to cut carbon emissions in line with international targets have come under renewed strain since the nuclear crisis in Japan led some countries to shelve plans to use the technology.
On the other side of Europe, Britain and France are still supporters of nuclear energy.
In a report by government advisers last week, nuclear power was singled out as the cheapest way for the UK to grow a low-carbon energy supply, at least over the next decade.
Report & Analysis: Europe divided over nuclear power after Fukushima disaster [The Guardian, 25 May 2011]