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Germany Says Goodbye to the Atom


On the night from Saturday to Sunday, Germany cuts off the three remaining nuclear power plants in the country. Berlin is doing this at a time when some other Western countries, including France, on the contrary, are increasing investment in nuclear energy in the hope of reducing harmful emissions into the atmosphere, making electricity cheaper and reducing dependence on Russian energy carriers.

The decision to close all nuclear power plants in Germany by 2022 was made many years ago, shortly after the accident at the Japanese nuclear power plant Fukushima, which was seriously damaged by an earthquake and tsunami.

Environmental activists and the Greens in the ruling coalition are demanding the closure of the nuclear power plant, stating the dangers of nuclear plants and problems with the storage of radioactive waste.

However, many Germans, and, judging by public opinion polls, most of them, consider this a mistake, because nuclear plants are cleaner (and cheaper) than coal, fuel oil, and even gas plants.

The idea of closing the nuclear power plant met with support in Germany, a country with a strong anti-nuclear lobby. However, the deadline for the final rejection of nuclear energy had to be moved from the end of 2022 to April 2023 - this was due to a sharp reduction in Russian gas supplies. As a result, Berlin, in order not to be left without electricity, had not only to extend the life of its nuclear power plants, but also to reactivate several coal-fired power plants. And this despite the fact that Germany is already "leading" in the EU in greenhouse gas emissions.

The country's authorities claim that the energy situation is completely under control, and nuclear power plants will be dismantled over time, and no conservation with an eye to a possible return to operation is planned. They remind that German gas storages are filled to the maximum, and all the necessary infrastructure has been created to receive liquefied natural gas, which will replace Russian supplies.

Moreover, Vice-Chancellor, Minister of Economy and Climate and part-time chairman of the Green Party Robert Habek said that by 2030 Germany should produce up to 80% of electricity from renewable sources. True, for this it will be necessary to build 4-5 wind turbines a day for several years, and for the whole of last year only 551 were built, so at this rate Germany is unlikely to be able to meet its emissions reduction commitments.

On Saturday, Greenpeace representatives held a rally at the Brandenburg Gate with the funeral of a dinosaur model, symbolizing obsolete nuclear energy, defeated by the anti-nuclear movement, with the slogan "Atomic energy has finally become part of history!"


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