Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Germany's nuclear exit strategy

Immediately after the Fukushima disaster, the German government performed a spectacular U-turn on nuclear energy. Just six months after drawing up a plan to slow down the planned closure of its remaining nuclear power stations, Germany now looks likely to speed it up, and may well do so by 2020. This would make Germany the first country to abandon nuclear energy after using it for decades, so it would set an interesting example for others to study and possibly to follow.

Read my news feature which is out in Current Biology today:

Energy U-turn in Germany
Current Biology, Volume 21, Issue 10, R379-R381, 24 May 2011
doi:10.1016/j.cub.2011.05.003
Summary and open access to pdf file.

This is also one of the rare articles to be printed with one of my own photos, namely this one:

solarhaus

(click image to see larger versions in my flickr photostream)

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Updates:

31.5. German government gives detailed plan for 2022 exit: Guardian report.

25.5. Pleased to note that the Swiss government is now moving in the direction I anticipated and taking steps towards a phase-out of nuclear energy (see this Guardian report. It would have been slightly embarrassing if they had changed their mind in the weeks between my writing the article and its publication.

The UK, meanwhile, has decided to dump radioactive waste in an ordinary landfill site. What a brilliant idea. I wonder whether nuclear energy expert Homer Simpson was involved with the planning? And seeing that the company involved is called Augean, will they divert a river to wash the waste into the sea?

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