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Dismantling Germany's nuclear industry, piece by piece

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Nuclear dismantling can prove to be a “new field of activity,” said company spokesman Ulrich Schroeder

'Where there is muck there's money'.

And the forward thinking, up to 2040, which actually is a blink in the eye of the half-life of various radioactive isotopes.

Here they either can't dismantle already old reactors, or just won't. Here they should know better. And here there is a lot more sun, geothermal plus rain and mountains for hydro and coastline for wind and wave-sourced power generation.

And here, where people are supposed to be good at forward-thinking.

Then again, in a place where they are not famous for forward thinking, in Australia, they are not not nuclear but the right-leaning governments in Canberra and Brisbane are signing off on coal-based energy with the blind promise of jobs now, and a massive coal mine in Queensland about which scientist after scientist and UNESCO are crying out warnings of pollution and destruction of the Great Barrier Reef.

At least there is some alternative thinking - and action - going on in the Bundesrepublik.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

If when the atomic plants reach the end of their life cycles, it will take many decades and a mountain of cash to dismantle them and then there's the problem of storing high level radioactive waste for thousands of years. It was a huge mistake to built the atomic plants in the first place.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

it will take many decades and a mountain of cash to dismantle them

Which in most countries is covered by a mandatory fund that the company is required to set up.

then there's the problem of storing high level radioactive waste for thousands of years

And that is a political problem, NIMBY if you will. There is no technical problem with the long term storage of nuclear waste.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Which in most countries is covered by a mandatory fund that the company is required to set up.

Interesting and that's suppose to the situation here in Japan too but we can't be sure about that one. Many of the power utilities have asked the Tokyo central government for loans.

Then there are cases like the Sellafield in the UK where the decommissioning costs have reached 100 billion sterling pounds and is being paid by the taxpayer. The costs are sure to increase many times and current projections are more than 500 billion pounds.

There are several nuclear power plants being decommissioned costing the taxpayer many billions of pounds.

And that is a political problem, NIMBY if you will. There is no technical problem with the long term storage of nuclear waste.

But there are the financial costs of trying to operate a nuclear storage depot for thousands of year which will have to be reconstructed many times during that time scale.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Regardless of the funds set aside for decommissioning, when a reactor has a meltdown the funds set aside won't BEGIN to cover the costs of the cleanup. All those nice, documented pieces of the reactor they're removing in Germany can't be replicated at Fukushima because all the infrastructure for moving and removing things in the reactor vessel were destroyed in the explosions.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Zichi, Sellafield (Windscale as was) was built by the taxpayer, on MOD land. Its not surprising it will be decommissioned at tax payers expense. Nuclear power is an expensive long term investment and decommissioning is expensive. But that said the UK has had its monies worth out of the Sellafield power plant in terms of jobs created, power supplied and weapons grade Plutonium produced. Its had its fair share of polluting mishaps too but still has a good record when compared to coal/gas/oil fired power stations. And Godzilla hasnt made a single appearance off the Irish Sea coast

2 ( +2 / -0 )

But there are the financial costs of trying to operate a nuclear storage depot for thousands of year

And there are finincial costs of operating a household garbage dump. So what?

which will have to be reconstructed many times during that time scale.

Why would it have to be reconstructed even once, much less many times?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Sellafield is owned by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority which also owns 19 civilian nuclear plants. The NDA is making massive profits from Sellafield allowing it to pay out tens of million of pounds in bonus to its 10 or so directors.

Plutionium yes, which in 1997 was discovered in the teeth of children living near Sellafield. There's a long history of problems at Sellafield and this year was fined £700,000 for safety violations.

The cost of decommissioning Sellafield reflects the costs of decommissioning all the atomic power plants.

http://www.environment.co.za/nuclear-energy-debate/nuclear-power-reaches-another-dead-end-uk-closes-sellafield-nuclear-fuel-plant.html

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Germany hasn't moved away from nuclear power at all. Go look at how much they are getting from France at peak times.

They've just outsourced their nuclear power generation, that's all.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Dismantling their nuclear, and killing people in Ukraine by increasing EU dependence on Russian gas so that the EU doesn't dare implement proper sanctions.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

re zichi's post, £700,000 doesn't seem like much when all the kids in UK have plutonium in their teeth.

I hope Germany is running all the "non-radioactive" waste through lots of radiation detectors. Sometimes detectors fail.

http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2003/nov/30/greenpolitics.health

Plutonium from Sellafield in all children's teeth, The Observer, Saturday 29 November 2003

In the late 1990s researchers collected more than 3,000 molars extracted from young teenagers across the country during dental treatment and analysed them. To their surprise they found traces of plutonium in all the teeth including those from children in Scotland and Northern Ireland. Alarmingly, they discovered that those living closer to Sellafield had more than twice the amount of those living 140 miles away.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sellafield

The total cost of decommissioning (Sellafield), which will be borne by UK taxpayers, is now considered to be in excess of £70 bn.[1]

0 ( +2 / -2 )

All arguments aside, Germany is to be commended for doing, or trying to do a thorough job here.

It could well be that other countries will be wishing they had made this move at an earlier date.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Why don't we just store all the waste on the moon?

RIP - Gerry Anderson

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Why don't we just store all the waste on the moon?

shinhiyata, you do realize that the moonlight striking the earth will be radioactive don't you?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

As a German myself all I can say that has done is increase the energy prices so much it's not even funny anymore. Half a million of people had their electricity cut this year, because they can't pay anymore. Not to mention the whole Gas and Ukraine thing. Sometimes it feels that German politicians are trying their hardest to ruin the country.

Great economy and GDP? Yeah for the top 1% while the lowest 40% are all in debt and it only gets worse. It's either work for really low wage or the companies will hire on of the many 'skillfull' immigrants... or rather just outsource everything to other countries.

That this still leaves most of the uneducated immigrants in the country, destabilizing the society even further is of no concern to anybody of importance. In fact, the media is trying their best to never say a bad word about those groups or other groups like all the people who can't decide if they are male or female anymore.

Seriously, Japan does a lot of things way better. Still using their nuclear plants because they know it would be too expensive otherwise. Not letting in tons of uneducated and unskilled immigrants. Japanese are actually able to finish large projects like Skytree or other stuff within the set time limit and budget. Even their birthrate is higher than Germany's...

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

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