Economy ministry blocks ban on German nuclear fuel rod exports
The German economy ministry has blocked efforts aimed at banning exports of locally produced reactor fuel to power plants outside the country that raise safety concerns, writes Malte Kreutzfeldt in the taz. The coalition agreement of the government had stated it would work to prevent such exports, but fuel rods from a factory in the northwestern German city of Lingen continue to be exported to reactors in Doel, Belgium and Cattenom, France. The economy ministry first vetoed a proposal by the environment ministry to end exports by compensating German factories and has since refused to approve a draft law that would limit exports. The law would ban exports to reactors situated less than 150 kilometres from the German border which started operation before 1989. The economy ministry did not expand on its decision, saying it was still coordinating with other relevant ministries.
Germany will end nuclear power production at the end of 2022 but has not yet announced an end to the production of nuclear power components, such as fuel rods. The relatively old Tihange and Doel nuclear plants in Belgium have been repeatedly targeted by German politicians, who have urged the country to shut the plants down, arguing that they pose a threat to nearby residents in Germany.