Newsletter III 2022
January 15th to ...
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Nuclear Power Incidents & Accidents + NAMS + INES
21. January 1969 - (INES 5 - NAMES 1,6) - Lucens NPP - When the cooling system of an experimental reactor failed at the Lucens experimental nuclear power plant (VAKL) in the canton of Vaud, there was a partial meltdown ...
On Saturday, January 22, at 13 p.m. before the Lingen fuel element factory an international demonstration for the closure of this uranium factory took place ...
Letter to EU Commission
The EU Commission wants to classify nuclear power plants as "green" investments under certain conditions. This is controversial among the member states, and Germany also objects shortly before the deadline. The federal government sees it differently when it comes to gas, which should therefore be a bridging solution.
The Federal Government is clearly opposed to the EU Commission classifying nuclear power as sustainable, but supports a corresponding classification of gas as a bridge solution. This emerges from the German statement on the so-called taxonomy, which was sent to Brussels on Friday evening. "From the point of view of the federal government, nuclear energy is not sustainable," the letter said.
Münster – The global market for nuclear power plants will remain in difficult waters in 2021 and will not get out of the trough. For the third year in a row, more old nuclear power plants were shut down than new nuclear power plants were connected to the grid.
The nuclear accident in Fukushima in 2011 had more far-reaching consequences than is widely known. Above all, the sharp rise in construction and market risks have led to changes in recent years. Private investors and companies have almost completely withdrawn. Only a few state-owned companies remained, which now dominate the world market for nuclear power plants and share the business among themselves.
Global Nuclear Power Plant Market 2021: Number of nuclear power plants shrinks for the third year in a row
As of January 2021, 20.01.2022, six new nuclear power plants with a gross capacity of 5.650 MW were put into operation worldwide throughout 8.300. This is the result of data from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which was evaluated by the International Economic Forum for Renewable Energies (IWR). At the same time, nine old nuclear power plants with a capacity of around XNUMX MW were switched off and finally shut down. According to IAEA data, for the third year in a row more nuclear power plants have been shut down than new nuclear reactors have gone into operation...
- The objection period to the taxonomy plans of the EU Commission ends on Friday.
- The Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS) sees scientific and technical shortcomings in the EU plans.
- BfS boss President Paulini says: "The technology is not safe, the disasters at Chernobyl and Fukushima unfortunately proved that."
Berlin. Before the expiry of the objection period against the EU plans to classify nuclear power as sustainable, the President of the Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS), Inge Paulini, accused the EU Commission of deliberately ignoring accident risks and burdens for future generations ...
Paulini raises allegations against EU researchers
The examination of the EU plans by their authority revealed scientific and technical deficiencies. In addition, the EU Commission instructed its experts to ignore the dangers of nuclear accidents, according to Paulini. "The EU researchers worked with an abbreviated concept of sustainability and at the same time did not comprehensively consider the risk of the technology or the long-term consequences."
Sustainability is not measured solely by CO2 emissions, but also by other environmental damage, said Paulini. "With regard to the use of nuclear energy, this starts with uranium mining and ends with the open question of final storage." ...
Federal Environment Minister Steffi Lemke (Greens) considers it conceivable that the federal government will file a lawsuit against the EU Commission's classification of nuclear power. "We will examine all proposals and contributions to the discussion in the next few months," she said in response to a question in the Mitteldeutsche Zeitung (Friday edition) published in Halle. "Nuclear power is not a safe source of energy, we do not yet have a single repository for high-level radioactive waste anywhere in the world," she justified her position.
She considers the German nuclear phase-out to be irreversible even in the event of a Russian attack on neighboring countries and an interruption in Russian gas supplies. "I can rule out an extension of nuclear power," Lemke said in response to a question...
Green label for nuclear power
Austria gets its electricity partly from nuclear power. Nevertheless, it would like to take legal action before the ECJ if the European Union classifies nuclear energy as sustainable. The Environment Minister firmly believes in the success of the lawsuit. And is supported by another EU member state.
The Austrian government is preparing a lawsuit before the European Court of Justice in the event that the EU Commission classifies nuclear power as a sustainable energy source. Should the Brussels authorities implement their draft for the so-called taxonomy, "then we will take legal action," said Austria's Environment Minister Leonore Gewesseler to the AFP news agency. "We have very, very strong arguments." ...
German Federal Office for Safety of Nuclear Waste Management:
MR concepts ("Small Modular Reactors") go back to developments in the 1950s, in particular the attempt to use nuclear power as a propulsion technology for military submarines. A wide variety of concepts and developments for SMR exist worldwide today. The vast majority of these are at the concept study level. If the approximately 400 high-performance reactors worldwide today were replaced by SMR systems, this would mean the construction of many thousands to tens of thousands.
The German Federal Office for the Safety of Nuclear Waste Management (BASE) has commissioned an expert opinion on SMR. In it, 136 different historical and current reactors or SMR concepts were considered, 31 of them in particular detail. The report provides a scientific assessment of possible areas of application and the associated safety issues and risks.
The report was prepared on behalf of BASE by the Öko-Institut Freiburg in cooperation with the Department of Economic and Infrastructure Policy at the Technical University of Berlin and the Physicists' Office in Bremen ...
Up to five casks with nuclear waste are to come to the Philippsburg interim storage facility by 2024. The Ministry of the Environment and the operators provided information on transport and storage on Wednesday.
The material is to come by train from the La Hague reprocessing plant in France to Philippsburg in the Karlsruhe district. These are highly radioactive substances that are enclosed in glass canisters and originally come from German nuclear power plants.
... The city of Philippsburg has announced that it will take legal action against interim storage because, from its point of view, only a permit for medium-level radioactive material has been issued so far. That was originally supposed to come to Philippsburg. Philippsburg wants to have this change in the approval - also for a different type of castor - checked legally and then sue if necessary.
In addition, the interim storage facility has only been approved until 2047, but a German repository will not come until 2050 at the earliest. There is an unexplained gap, according to Philippsburg Mayor Stefan Martus. From the city's point of view, what will happen to the castors in these three years should be clarified before the highly radioactive material is stored.
A gigantic wind and solar park is being built in Namibia. Some of the hydrogen produced there will benefit Germany. Then the “green” attribute that Europe wants to give to natural gas power plants would be justified, at least in part.
Where the German Reich once mined diamonds as a colonial power, hydrogen will be produced in the future for today's Germany, among other things. In the sun-kissed Tsau Khaeb National Park, near the port city of Lüderitz in the south-west of the African state of Namibia, Hyphen Hydrogen Energy, a project development company in the Namibian capital Windhoek, is constructing a project together with the energy company Enertrag from Dauerthal in the federal state of Brandenburg for EUR 9,4 billion. US$ Wind and solar power plants with a total capacity of 5 GW. There are also electrolysers with a capacity of 3 GW, a seawater desalination plant and a production facility for ammonia from nitrogen and hydrogen. The small port in the town of Lüderitz is expanded so that hydrogen and ammonia can be exported. When the plant is completely finished, 300 tons of hydrogen will be produced each year. Its energy content is almost 000 billion kWh. The project is one of the most important that the Namibia Investment Promotion and Development Board (NIPDB) has launched so far ...
Rising electricity prices and falling costs for battery storage make the latter interesting for more and more self-consumers. Some federal states also grant grants.
According to a statement from the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs, the Bavarian PV storage program is to be continued this year. According to Minister Hubert Aiwanger, 73.000 applications have been received in Bavaria so far, which is impressive proof that the citizens want to help shape the energy transition. "Since the acquisition costs for battery storage have fallen but electricity prices have risen, self-consumption of PV electricity with the help of subsidized battery storage will continue to be worthwhile," Aiwanger is certain.
However, due to the high demand, the funding conditions are now being adjusted: From February 2022, the specified minimum capacity for the battery storage system will be 5 kWh (or 5 kWp minimum output for the associated PV system). A grant of €500 will then be granted for this. For each additional kWh capacity, the subsidy increases by 75 € ...
This morning we received the news that Jochen Stay passed away. We are deeply saddened and our thoughts are with his family. Jochen was known to many as a tireless organizer of anti-nuclear protests at .aussendung. Just a few days ago he was targeting the dangerous EU taxonomy (see below), was happy about the closure of Brokdorf and was planning the two anti-nuclear bike tours in the summer. In the 90s and 00s he organized determined protests in Wendland against the Castor transports and against the then planned extension of the service life for nuclear power plants. Even earlier, he was also the editor-in-chief of the Grassroots Revolution. Jochen was a determined but also combative fighter for a world without nuclear power - the anti-nuclear movement loses an important comrade-in-arms.
You can find a detailed obituary at www.ausgestrahlt.de
We resolutely continue the fight - and that's why we're calling again today for Saturday, January 22, at 13 p.m. to the rally in front of the Fuel element factory in Lingen, on side canal 1, on. In Lower Saxony, it is mandatory to wear an FFP2 mask at rallies.
All information about the demo and how to get there by public transport and bike at: https://atomstadt-lingen.de/2022/01/08/kundgebung-vor-brennelementefabrik-22-01-2022/
Natural gas and nuclear power are now considered “green”. A fatal signal - and a gift to France, which is playing a dangerous game with ancient and dilapidated kilns
The EU taxonomy, the core of an EU set of rules intended to direct financial flows in Europe towards sustainable economic activities, was quite ambitious in its original form. It could have created a uniform green seal on the financial market and thus prevented the danger of greenwashing of allegedly sustainable financial products. With the inclusion of nuclear power and natural gas in the regulations, this goal is reversed. It is true that the financial sector is saying that private investors will continue to be wary of putting money into the nuclear industry in the future, but there are significant exceptions. The 750 billion NextGenerationEU resilience program, half of which is financed by green bonds and intended to promote sustainable post-pandemic reconstruction, is linked to the taxonomy criteria ...
nuclear stop: Massive underinsurance of nuclear power plants contradicts the inclusion of nuclear power in the taxonomy
Linz (OTS) - Nuclear power plants are categorically and drastically underinsured worldwide. Accidents, such as those caused by the nuclear industry in many cases, including the MAUs in Fukushima and Chernobyl, result in ruinous economic damage. The fact that precisely this technology is now to be included in the EU taxonomy, i.e. in the catalog of criteria for business that is eligible for funding in terms of sustainability, represents an unacceptable discrepancy from this point of view.
“In its New Year's Eve proposal for a nuclear taxonomy ordinance, the Commission did include some, but unfortunately toothless, conditions for power plant operators, but any liability claims for nuclear power plant operators remain unaffected. However, it should be a minimum requirement if an energy source can be rated as sustainable that it is also sufficiently insurable! Which is apparently not the case, since the French Institute for Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN) after the Fukushima disaster has incurred costs of up to for a comparable nuclear accident in France 430 billion euros calculated, but the currently insured amount of damage is just about 0,7 billion! And France in particular, with its 56 miles, is the driving force behind the greenwashing of nuclear power. President Macron has openly made himself a propagandist for this!" warn Gabriele Schweiger and Roland Egger from atomstopp_oberoesterreich ...
The state nuclear power plant builder and electricity giant EDF crashes on the stock exchange because of constant new problems with old reactors and ongoing EPR problems
On Monday, the price of shares in the French electricity company EDF stabilized at a low level on the stock exchange after prices had plummeted by more than 20 (!) Percent on Friday.
Late on Thursday, the French Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN) - once again - acknowledged a safety problem. "The defects found in the last generation reactors have also appeared in another reactor at Penly in northern France," said Karine Herviou, deputy director of the French Institute for Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN).
Great Britain also shuts down nuclear power plants. New construction tedious, uneconomical, but probably militarily attractive. comment
The shutdown of the penultimate three German nuclear power plants raised some dust at the end of the year. The nuclear power plants Brokdorf (1.410 megawatts net output), Grohnde (1.316 MW) and Gundremmingen C (1.288 MW) went off the grid as stipulated in the Atomic Energy Act (paragraph 2011) in 7. Ohu 2022 (2 MW), Emsland (1.410 MW) and Neckarwestheim 1.335 (2 MW) will follow at the end of 1.310.
As expected, this caused all sorts of wind in the feuilleton. Lobby organizations and other friends of large-scale, corporate-controlled technologies have apparently blown to the last stand ...
Wind turbines are a constant contentious issue in Bavaria. With consequences: In the meantime, there are practically no more applications for permits for sustainable energy in Bavaria.
Munich The expansion of wind power in Bavaria, which has been sluggish for years anyway, reached a new low last year. Although six new turbines were approved in Bavaria in the first three quarters of last year, no new approval applications for new wind turbines were submitted in the same period for the first time since the introduction of the ten-H distance rule. This emerges from a response from the Ministry of Economics to a request from the Greens in the state parliament, which is available to the German Press Agency in Munich.
For comparison: In 2012, 271 permit applications were made, in 2013 there were 400, in 2014 there were 220 and in 2020 only three...
The annual market value of solar for 2021 is 7,552 cents per kilowatt hour and is therefore much higher than was foreseeable a year ago. For operators of subsidized solar systems, this means an unexpected windfall.
The record value was not entirely unexpected: since electricity prices on the stock exchange had skyrocketed in the last half of the year, it was clear that the annual market value would also be high. Because the grid operators take the electricity from plants that have been decommissioned and market it on the exchange - at the respective electricity exchange prices ...
Similar jump up for onshore wind power
The same rules for continued operation do not apply to wind turbines that have been phased out, but they too benefit from high annual market values...
Two percent of the country's area is to be built on with wind turbines in the future. But the debate about where the wind blows the most and which areas are suitable contains political explosives. The Federal Ministry of Economics has issued an appeal to the federal states not to refuse the expansion. But there are sensitivities of their own.
The planned expansion of wind turbines on a large scale continues to cause heated debates between the federal and state governments, but also within some state governments. Two percent of the state area is to be designated for wind turbines - according to the plans of the federal traffic light coalition. In some countries, however, this target area is being called into question. Oliver Krischer (Greens), Parliamentary State Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Economics, has now appealed to the states: “No state government will be able to avoid the necessary expansion if it wants to achieve climate protection goals and guarantee security of supply. The times when wind energy could only be used on the coast are long, long gone," Krischer told our editorial team. Today's systems are optimized for inland use - "and Bavaria in particular has great potential for good wind locations, which unfortunately has so far been unused," says the Green politician...
The classification of nuclear power as green helps the French state-owned company EDF in particular. He can rehabilitate his finances and piles - and build new power plants.
Thierry Breton, Brussels Commissioner for the Internal Market, recently estimated that half a trillion euros is the investment required for nuclear power plants in the EU. What the French politician didn't say: the money is largely needed by the French energy company EDF. He owns the largest power plant park in Europe, namely the 56 reactors in his own country - and he is behind almost every new nuclear project in the EU, whether in Finland, the Czech Republic, Poland or Great Britain ...
Wind power | Distance requirements to radio systems
The industry complains that the expansion of wind energy could be much further if outdated distance rules from air security and military facilities were no longer in force. Minister for Climate Protection Habeck has also recognized the potential and is announcing solutions.
The Federal Wind Energy Association sees great potential for a faster expansion of wind power on land - if "blockades" by navigation systems for air traffic and military issues are resolved. According to the association, technology that is no longer "contemporary" and distance regulations that are too generous are blocking up to 7 gigawatts (GW) of power.
The German energy transition has recently suffered from a lack of momentum, unnecessary complexity and too much regulation. But it still harbors immense economic opportunities if politicians act decisively. A guest post.
Germany's "administration" must unleash itself - from too much bureaucracy, regulation and hedging mentality. We need more confidence in our ability and potential, more doing and delivering instead of just talking. On the one hand, the energy transition is an example of a courageous and globally exemplary start, but on the other hand it is also an example of a loss of momentum due to unnecessary complexity and regulation. Too often there is only talk of the high costs of climate neutrality - and too little about the huge market for everyone who is prepared.
Sustainability has gone from being a nice-to-have to a must-have. Nobody seriously questions that anymore. When customers and consumers increasingly ask about green electricity tariffs and solar systems, when green bonds are oversubscribed several times, when e-mobility is booming and when large offshore wind farms and solar parks are built without subsidies for the first time, then these are not just the experiences of an energy supplier like EnBW, but the Sign of time ...
- Despite supposedly green nuclear power, our neighboring country will miss the climate targets of the European Union.
- In addition, the government in Paris must cap energy prices at a cost of billions.
- The road to climate neutrality will also be long for France.
Berlin. France likes to present itself as a pioneer when it comes to climate protection. President Emmanuel Macron has banned short domestic flights, convened a panel of experts to save the climate and publicly considered making climate and environmental protection constitutional.
From a German perspective, the French find it easy to lead the way, as the climate-damaging coal-fired power generation in the western neighboring country plays almost no role. Nuclear energy has always been used between the English Channel and the Pyrenees - and its generation is largely climate-neutral.
France misses EU climate targets
It is all the more surprising that France will probably miss the EU climate targets by a wide margin and has even recorded its own failure in a legal text ...
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Bernhard Pötter and Malte Kreutzfeldt / taz
Climate and Environment Minister Robert Habeck has presented his plans. What it means when the traffic light gets serious about the energy transition.
Economics and Climate Minister Robert Habeck has now been in office for five weeks, and his signal this week was clear: climate protection and the energy transition should finally really get going. With a comprehensive "Opening balance sheet on climate protection", the Green Vice Chancellor presented his ambitious plans for how Germany intends to reduce CO2030 emissions from minus 2 percent to minus 38 percent (compared to 65) in just eight years by 1990 - and how the proportion of Green electricity is to be practically doubled from the current 42 to 80 percent in the same short time. But what does that mean specifically?
Turbo expansion wind and solar
In just eight years, Habeck intends to increase the construction of wind and solar power plants in Germany by a factor of four or five. By the end of the 2020s, plants for 15 gigawatts of wind power on land and at sea and for 20 gigawatts of solar power are to be built per year. "That's about the output of 35 nuclear power plants," says Simon Müller, Germany head of the think tank Agora Energiewende.
"This unprecedented expansion of renewable capacity is feasible," says Müller. "but we have to pull out all the stops to do that." One challenge: Power grids have to be planned and built with foresight. With much more photovoltaics, a lot of solar power is fed into the grid on sunny days. "Then flexible loads and storage devices such as electric cars, batteries or hydrogen producers must be available so that the grid is not overloaded and the energy is not lost," says Müller.
So far, one authority has coordinated network planning: the Federal Network Agency. A new federal company might be necessary for this “planning sprint”. The umbrella organization for electricity and water management, BDEW, also calls for procedures to become faster and simpler overall and lists 25 measures: such as uniform criteria for species protection or priority for wind power in planning. Old rules of air traffic control and the Bundeswehr should also be reformed and the application should be organized digitally. In addition, according to BDEW, there should be no general distance rule to houses, but binding area targets.
But a new order in the electricity market is also necessary, says Simon Müller: "Electricity has to be particularly cheap when there is a lot of wind and solar power available, so we have to reform taxes, levies and surcharges on electricity." It is necessary for flexible loads and storage sufficient new controllable gas power plants.
Important: the money. According to Müller, the municipalities will need a total of around 2030 billion euros for heating networks and public transport by 120. At the federal level, there is probably enough money with the 60 billion in the supplementary budget, but experts are unsure about the municipalities.
In general, the importance of heat supply in the municipalities for the success of climate policy is often overlooked, says Müller. "Good municipal heating planning must become mandatory," he demands.
Compromises in nature conservation
So far, bird protection has also slowed down the expansion of wind power on land. Or better: the unclear rules for it. The traffic light wants to define the implementation rules in nature conservation uniformly in a federal law or ordinance. "That would be a big step towards solving the conflicts between wind expansion and nature conservation," says Silke Christiansen from the Competence Center for Nature Conservation and Energy Transition, which is working with environmental and energy associations as well as federal and state ministries to solve these problems. Not much progress so far.
A solution could now look like this: Wind turbines would be taboo in a defined “close range” of, for example, 500 meters around a bird nest, depending on the bird species. In addition, from a distance of about 1000 meters it would be assumed that there are generally no conflicts with species protection. This eliminated the need for complex and time-consuming expert reports, which are always highly controversial. In the future, authorities and bird conservationists would then also have to prove that a bird is threatened - and no longer, as is the case now, the wind turbine planners.
However, if the distance is less than 1000 meters, "avoidance measures" such as switching off the rotors are checked. If this is not possible, there can be exceptions – for example, an improved environment helps to maintain the population as a whole and no longer just look at the individual animal.
The traffic light coalition agreement provides for at least one billion euros for such "species aid programs". It could help in the political debate that the red kite, one of the most controversial birds in the battle for windmill blades, has been off the Red List of Threatened Species since last year.
participation and acceptance
Robert Habeck has announced that he will visit all federal states to talk to them about the plans. What he doesn't want, on the other hand, is a commission that talks at length about the subject and doesn't decide anything. Kai Niebert, President of the German Nature Conservation Association, calls this a “one-sided understanding of participation”. Habeck should "design the ways with those involved" instead of prescribing them.
There is nothing to be said against a “short, crisp participation”, such as a retreat with representatives from industry, environmental associations, municipalities and politics. “The Commission for the Future of Agriculture has proposed taking ten percent of agricultural land out of use. If you do that, you have room for nature conservation and you can set up wind turbines elsewhere,” says Niebert. That will cost 600 million to 1 billion euros. But this is how the Ministry of the Environment achieves its goals, the Ministry of Agriculture can present nature conservation as a business model to farmers, the Ministry of Economics gets areas - "and the nature conservation associations can show that the state of nature is improving and that not every infrastructure project has to be complained about."
Craftsmen urgently wanted
In order to increase the construction of wind and solar systems, many skilled workers are needed - and in some places they are already in short supply. "For years, our works councils have been reporting problems, some of them serious, when filling vacancies," said the head of the IG Metall coast district last autumn at the Husum Wind trade fair.
Who should pay for all this?
From the point of view of electricity customers, however, the faster expansion is no longer a problem - unlike in the past. The remuneration paid for electricity from new wind and solar systems is only slightly higher than the prices paid on the electricity exchange; last year they were often even cheaper and thus tended to contribute to the reduction in prices.
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Research platform on atomic energy
The realignment of energy policy and economy in Germany, with which for the first time a large industrial state is converting its fossil-nuclear energy generation to renewable, is being closely monitored internationally. As a "laboratory of the future" and an innovative pioneering achievement, it has also been compared with the US lunar mission.
The aim of the energy transition is a sustainable, decentralized energy supply, which is to be achieved with a combination of renewable energies, intelligent energy storage, energy saving and increased efficiency. A success of the German energy transition would prove that energy supply and prosperity are possible even without conventional energy sources ...
Independent process of the energy transition
By and large, the energy transition has been successful since 2011, not because of, but in spite of Angela Merkel's energy policy. Started half-heartedly by politics, badly planned, repeatedly delayed and slowed down, it has developed into a largely independent process.
When the black-yellow government reversed its lifetime extension after Fukushima, it limited itself to shutting down old reactors and initiating an 11-year timetable for the nuclear phase-out, which keeps the demands on the German nuclear companies low, but at the same time unites the German population exposed to the dangers of nuclear energy for another decade. The nuclear phase-out was not included in the Basic Law, the nuclear factories in Gronau and Lingen, nuclear research and research reactors were exempted from the nuclear phase-out, the Euratom Treaty has not been terminated to this day...
The energy transition in Germany describes the efforts to transform the existing fossil-nuclear energy system into a sustainable energy system based on renewable energies in Germany (RE). This political approach has clear differences to the energy transition of other countries ...
Further to: Newspaper article 2021
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