03 Feb 2020, 13:47
Freja Eriksen

CDU’s economic wing proposes stronger German participation in nuclear energy research – media

Spiegel Online

The committee for economics, jobs and taxes of chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) has proposed that Germany participates more intensively in the European nuclear research programme Euratom, reports Spiegel Online. In a position paper, seen by Spiegel, the group writes that "projects on nuclear fusion and small modular reactors" carried out within the framework of Euratom should be examined “without prejudging the outcome” and as “a possible way of CO₂-free energy production”.

Germany plans to shut down its last nuclear power plant at the end of 2022 based on a decision made in 2002 by the then-government coalition of the SPD and the Green Party after reaching a consensus deal with the operators. Merkel's subsequent government coalition initially stalled the nuclear exit but decided to stick to the policy following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan. The German government has repeatedly clarified that nuclear power has no future in the country and industry representatives also say that the technology no longer is an option in Germany's power mix. People in Germany remain broadly opposed to nuclear power and a recent study said the challenge of finding and funding a final repository for radioactive nuclear waste had not been solved by any of the countries employing nuclear power in Europe or the rest of the world. The only party in federal parliament opposed to the nuclear exit is the populist right-wing AfD, which also denies man-made climate change and supports the ongoing use of coal.

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