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Germany Switches Off its Last Nuclear Plants:DMM英会話DailyNews予習復習メモ





2023/4/20 level 8

Germany Switches Off its Last Nuclear Plants


Germany shut down its three remaining nuclear power plants on April 15 as part of a long-planned changeover to renewable energy.




The shutdown of the three plants was cheered by anti-nuclear campaigners outside the three reactors and at demonstrations in Berlin and Munich. Inside the plants, staff held more serious closing ceremonies.




画像:new sky com

Anti-nuclear protests in Germany, encouraged by disasters at Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima, had put pressure on German governments for decades to end the use of a technology that the protesters argue is unsafe and unsustainable.





But Germany's decision has been criticized at home and abroad.



Defenders of nuclear energy say fossil fuels should go first, arguing that nuclear power produces far fewer emissions and is safe, if properly managed.




As energy prices suddenly increased last year due to the war in Ukraine, some members of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz's government became uncertain about closing the nuclear plants as planned on December 31, 2022. In a compromise, Scholz agreed to extend the deadline, but insisted the plants would close on April 15.





Supporters of nuclear power worldwide have criticized the shutdown, aware that the move by Europe's biggest economy could be harmful for a technology they say is clean and reliable.



The German government has said that, for now, the country will rely more on coal and natural gas, even as it prepares a massive increase of renewable energy production. Germany aims to be carbon-neutral by 2045.




But some energy experts say nuclear energy's 5% share of Germany's electricity can be easily replaced.




And the question remains of what to do with the nuclear waste created over 62 years of nuclear power production as local groups resist efforts to find it a final home. Finding a place to safely store nuclear waste is a problem for other nations, including the United States.



Still, US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm has said that nuclear power will "play a critical role in America's clean energy future," and she recently welcomed Japan's decision to restart many of its reactors.