German nuclear phase-out: a stage victory –

The German nuclear power plants will soon be history. Now the government has to force the phase-out of nuclear power in Europe. She would have a tool for that.

Cooling tower of a nuclear power plant and a power pole

Soon there will be no more steam here: the cooling tower of the Emsland nuclear power plant in Lingen Photo: Sina Schuldt/dpa

Nothing is too cheap for the opponents of the nuclear phase-out either. The CDU Economic Council conjures up a “great danger for Germany as a business location”, FDP frontman Wolfgang Kubicki speaks of a “dramatic error” that will have “painful consequences”. This is the last gasp of notorious nuclear power fans. Ignoring the Chernobyl and Fukushima disasters, they deliberately stir up diffuse fears. The German nuclear phase-out is well prepared and will not lead to power failures or disadvantages for the business location.

The governing party FDP in particular finds it difficult to accept the end of the nuclear power plant. With increasingly bizarre proposals – most recently the idea of ​​leaving the reactors on standby for another year – their people are clinging to a high-risk technology whose bright legacy will burden countless generations to come. Luckily, that won’t change anything: the last three German nuclear power plants will be shut down next weekend. The German exit is a great stage win – no less, but also no more.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz kept his word and stuck to the postponed switch-off date. But that should not obscure the fact that Scholz shows little ambition elsewhere to force the farewell to nuclear power. There are still far too many reactors in Europe, France and other countries want to invest a lot of money in nuclear energy, which is far too dangerous and also far too expensive.

German politics is not uninvolved in this. Germany is partly responsible for ensuring that nuclear power is classified as sustainable for private financial investments in the course of the so-called taxonomy. In all seriousness, the EU wants to put nuclear power on an equal footing with renewable energies when it comes to state subsidies – the German government must prevent this. And that’s not all: through the nationalized energy company and nuclear power plant operator Uniper, it now has an instrument to promote the phase-out in other countries as well. You just have to want to use it.

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