Prof. Miranda A. Schreurs appointed to "Ethikkommission für sichere Energieversorgung"
News from Mar 23, 2011
The nuclear consequences of the disastrous earthquake in Japan mark a turning point – not only for Japan, but for the entire world. The safety of all German nuclear power plants is now to be subjected to a rigorous review, announced Chancellor Angela Merkel and Vice-Chancellor Guido Westerwelle an. Parallel to this, the government will be endeavouring to further accelerate the pace at which Germany is moving towards a new age of renewable energies.
Germany too must learn from the events unfolding in Japan, said Angela Merkel. Although natural disasters of the sort that have hit Japan cannot be expected in Germany, "We have seen that events deemed scientifically improbable can still happen".
"The safety of our people is paramount," underscored the Chancellor.
New risk analysis for Germany
The disaster has changed the situation. The safety of all German nuclear power plants is now to be subjected to a rigorous analysis. The government has imposed a three-month moratorium on the only recently agreed extension of the operating lives of these power plants. This time is to be used for a comprehensive energy debate. "The situation after this moratorium will no longer be the same as the situation prior thereto,” declared Angela Merkel unequivocally.
She also announced that the government would be increasing the pace at which Germany moves towards the age of renewables, as laid out in the recently adopted Energy Strategy 2050. Nuclear power was in any case seen as a technology to bridge the gap, and it was always clear that an end to the nuclear era was in sight. The response to the disaster in Japan cannot, however, be to rush headlong into decommissioning all German nuclear power plants and then purchase power generated in nuclear power plants abroad to make good the energy shortfall, said the Chancellor.
Renewables too have consequences
"We aim to restructure our power market and move towards the age of renewables,” stressed Vice-Chancellor Guido Westerwelle. "But if we want to usher in the age of renewable energies we must be prepared to extend our electricity grids and storage capacities,” said the Chancellor.
The Chancellor has called a meeting with the premiers of those federal states that are home to nuclear power plants on Tuesday. In the weeks to come the Chancellor will be making a government statement in the German Bundestag on this issue.