“Probable Game-Changer”: Special issue of Bulletin of Atomic Scientists shows EXIT from nuclear power brings economic and environmental benefits — ‘Startling’ findings

Published: November 1st, 2012 at 1:44 pm ET
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Title: Bulletin: German nuclear exit delivers economic, environmental benefits
Source: Phys.org
Date: November 1, 2012

[...] Forbes.com went as far as to ask, in a headline, whether [Germany's exit from nuclear power after the Fukushima disaster] was “Insane—or Just Plain Stupid.”

But a special issue of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, published by SAGE, “The German Nuclear Exit,” shows that the nuclear shutdown and an accompanying move toward renewable energy are already yielding measurable economic and environmental benefits, with one top expert calling the German phase-out a probable game-changer for the nuclear industry worldwide. [...]

Freie Universität Berlin politics professor Miranda Schreurs says the nuclear phase-out and accompanying shift to renewable energy have brought financial benefits to farmers, investors, and small business;

Felix Matthes of the Institute for Applied Ecology in Berlin concludes the phase-out will have only small and temporary effects on electricity prices and the German economy;

University of Kassel legal experts Alexander Rossnagel and Anja Hentschel explain why electric utilities are unlikely to succeed in suing the government [...]

Lutz Mez, co-founder of Freie Universitӓt Berlin’s Environmental Policy Research Center, presents what may be the most startling finding of all. [...] “It has actually decoupled energy from economic growth, with the country’s energy supply and carbon-dioxide emissions dropping from 1990 to 2011, even as its gross domestic product rose by 36 percent.”

See also: Germany produces 50% of energy from solar during mid-day hours -- 'Equivalent to 20 nuclear power stations at full capacity without any radioactive waste left over'

Published: November 1st, 2012 at 1:44 pm ET
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26 comments

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  1. Germany producing too much power after turning off nuclear reactors? Experts warn gas-driven plants are shutting down — Wind, solar, hydro prices are too low November 11, 2012
  2. Germany produces 50% of energy from solar during mid-day hours — ‘Equivalent to 20 nuclear power stations at full capacity without any radioactive waste left over’ May 31, 2012
  3. Report: Nuclear companies infiltrated universities November 3, 2011
  4. Siemens quitting nuclear business — CEO: “A response to the clear position of the German public and government” September 19, 2011
  5. Leading Director in Japan: “Nuclear power generation is the only invention that may destroy the future of human beings” October 29, 2011

26 comments to “Probable Game-Changer”: Special issue of Bulletin of Atomic Scientists shows EXIT from nuclear power brings economic and environmental benefits — ‘Startling’ findings

  • Lee Binder

    thanks for the GOOD NEWS!


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  • CaptD CaptD

    + less RISK of a Trillion Dollar Eco-Disaster,
    A global WIN-Win,
    Ask The Japanese!

    Glad to see the fiscal implications of the DOWN side of nuclear is finally starting to leak out! Germany has seen the light and the US (and all other Countries) should be "racing" them toward the Global use of Solar (of all flavors) ASAP…


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  • CaptD CaptD

    Fukushima proved to all of us, that Nature can destroy any land based nuclear reactor, any place anytime 24/7/365 for any number of "reasons" such as any one or more of these:

    ~ Tornado strike?
    ~ Earthquake?
    ~ Human error?
    ~ Tsunami?
    ~ Power outage?
    ~ Pipe break?
    ~ Test gone wrong?
    ~ Old fuel issues?
    ~ Terrorist attack?
    ~ Hurricane?
    ~ Plane crash?
    ~ Heavy rains/River floods?
    ~ Metal Fatigue?
    ~ Nuclear Ransom?
    ~ Solar Flair?
    ~ EMP?
    ~ Lightning?
    ~ Dam Failure?
    ~ Fire?
    ~ Operator suicide?
    ~ Jihadist?
    ~ CME?
    ~ Carrington Effect?
    ~ Cyber-warfare?
    ~ Meteror?
    ~ Aliens?
    ~ Volcano/Eruption?
    ~ Stuxnet ?
    ~ Bad Luck?
    ~ Murphy's Law?

    … Just a few of the ways Nuclear Power Plants (NPP's) can FAIL.

    Now adding "insult to injury" the burning of radioactive debris in Japan, is spreading Globally and adding radioactive pollution to the air we all breathe, so it is no longer "JUST" a Japanese problem!


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    • AGreenRoad AGreenRoad

      great list, but still not complete.. probably 100 or more reasons if we really got into it..

      Long term, we would see quite a few come to pass.

      Think SEVEN GENERATIONS into the future, or it is a selfish, ego based thought.


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  • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

    Hear hear. This one fits the topic: currently 13% of German companies are producing and using their own electricity and are no longer feeding it into the grid – 16% more are planning to do so in the short term. Self-produced renewable energy is already cheaper for them than the prices they had to pay to E.ON, RWE and the other criminals.

    BMW for example is currently installing 4 wind turbines on the premises of their factory in Leipzig, which will produce a total max of 10 MW – this will be enough for the production of their electric vehicle i3 from 2013.

    Yay. Article here: http://www.manager-magazin.de/unternehmen/energie/0,2828,863495,00.html


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    • 16Penny 16Penny

      I heard that there was an issue with Germany over feeding the European power grid with their renewable energy during peak production (windy and sunny) times. I read a quote in one of the previous ENE articles to the effect that renewable energy only destabilized the power grid in the US.

      The people who are spreading this are short sighted or motivated by the wrong reasons like greed or they are invested in hydrocarbon and nuclear fuel, IMO.

      The problems of production and storage of renewable energy is so much more benign that the issues faced with bringing hydrocarbons to market and everything involved with nuclear fuel and waste. Blow up layers of rock deep beneath us so you can get gas/oil? Ruin our ground water with gas infiltration and spill oil all over land and sea? for money? can't find anywhere to hide your radioactive waste so store it in over capacity casks and wait for a natural disaster to disperse it so you can say We had no idea this could happen. I am furious about the lack of ownership when thing Fuku up.

      Germans already store energy by pumping water into higher reservoirs during excess production. that could be expanded or Hydrogen could be produced at the site of the wind/solar farms with excess energy. Wouldn't it be neat if the whole German gov't fleet of vehicles ran on Hydrogen or all mass transit in the country. I bet they could make the world's coolest maglev train to use up some of the excess juice.


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      • 16Penny 16Penny

        Figuring out how to best buffer energy supply and demand from renewables is so much more of a warm fuzzy problem compared to having to face the world and tell them sorry for killing you and your offspring for generations to come and your planet. Enjoy the mutant growing out of your belly and no you can't claim it as a dependent on taxes Kuato (total recall reference).


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    • richard richard

      Solar panels and wind turbines can power water pumps.

      The water pumps push the water up into the reservoirs.

      The reservoirs have outflow gates to push electric generators.

      So the reservoirs act as the buffer for peak loads, and the renewable power sources provide energy as and when they can.

      There may even be fossil fuel pumps at the low end of the power chain, just in case renewables are insufficient for a time.

      Other suggested buffers are salt dunes for heat.

      Whatever buffer, the environment still needs consideration, naturally. Beware of using electrical batteries as they contain rare and exotic minerals that are some of the worst toxins around. Proper disposal of battery waste needs to be ensured.


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      • Radio VicFromOregon

        richard, i hope you find this reply to your post because i want to thank you for all you do here. Everyone contributes, of course, but, you stood up for me more than once and i so appreciate you for it. I also so appreciate that you are fearless about going all the way down to the nubbin, a rock climbing term, where you pare it down to 1/4 inch outcrop of rock that you stand upon while figuring out your next handhold or move. You are concerned about radiation leaks AND battery leaks. Most fear to tread in such details and thinking about how to be so mindful and careful as a consumer and user of technology, so much of which is messy and toxic to the world. It can be overwhelming for most of us.But, you break it down for us to just one more little step, then, in a few days or a week, just one more little step, because you must love every inch of this amazing world. Beware thoughtless modern convenience, which can be really fun, alluring, and oh so easy. It must also be good for the Earth. Few may know the deep joy of connecting to a living aware Earth that comes with treading on the Earth as mindfully and as lightly as possible. Nor feel the piercing of the heart with each thoughtless degradation.There is shelter and refuge in anger for a time, and many here choose that path, but, you and I struggle to learn that it is not from there that we can heal and protect the Earth. Please share your vision more. It is fairly unknown and unthought of.


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        • richard richard

          and always great to read your words Vic. Some have been truley inspiring.

          i see you are leaving a few posts in your wake. i hope you're not going away for too long. your commentary would be sorely missed.

          thank you for gracing my screens Mr VicFromOregon.


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  • DisasterInterpretationDissorder DisasterInterpretationDissorder

    The global Awakening is inevitible , the continuation of selfcultivated corruption in governing bodies (hopefully) not.

    Good news ! Keep pushing !


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  • Cataclysmic Cataclysmic

    DOUBLE THUMBS UP!

    Of course, our government knew this in the 70s, but still chose another direction.. but, every little bit helps!


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  • jump-ball

    Morningstar reassures utility investors by describing how "severe earnings (and) cash hits after Sandy" will be billed over several years to customers, and customers will be charged fees above what their usage-rate bills would have been. Bookeeping like this during the upcoming years of an ongoing credit contraction, look to me like an earnings meltdown hiding in plain sight (repost):

    "…regulators will allow most of the affected utilities to defer and later recover from customers most of the storm costs, resulting in minimal cash losses. If bills become extreme, regulators might also allow securitization. Usage-decoupled rates at hardest-hit ConEd should minimize its outage-related revenue losses…":

    http://news.morningstar.com/articlenet/article.aspx?id=572970


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  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    "Game changer"..yep..so it isn't time to cool our jets now.
    It's time to bring it on..


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    • 16Penny 16Penny

      I hear that. I am trying to figure out how my grandparents let this happen and also how I can stop the nuclear pollution of the planet. How am I supposed to tell my kids that it was more important to not rock the boat and keep on with the status quo than to protect our (human) race's survival.

      I am all for legislation that would put some of our politicians skin in the game. If the can't figure out a budget, no pay and nobenifits, get COBRA coverage till you clean it up. Nuclear accident, get right down there and clean it up governor, senator whatever. You accepted campaign contributions and told us it was safe, After the hurricane you stood before us and said that there were no nuclear concerns, Liar! Now clean up your mess.

      Sorry for the rant but I am so tired of the same story and nothing being done. I agree Rose, it is time to let the world know that a good portion of the PEOPLE of the US and other developed nations know we did wrong, we know we were and are being lied to and we are ready to stand against further attacks against humanity by our politically driven leaders and their campaign contributors who profit from dangerous policies.


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    • moonshellblue moonshellblue

      Agreed, now is the time to end nuclear power for good. After Sandy's devastation we must seize this moment in history to put an end to the relentless grip of nuclear power and at the very least decommission the dangerous Mark one BWR's. IMHO


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      • Radio VicFromOregon

        moonshellblue, i hope you find this post. I want to thank you for always getting back to hopefulness. It can get pretty gloomy here, but, you manage to gently crack the grey with a beam of soft light. That is the whole point of coming here and together isn't it, really? Finding what to hope about or how to make hope or encouraging one another to carry hope? You do this unflaggingly and i know that you have to wander around in the dimness and explore your fears, then you tell us why you are putting your fears over to the side a little bit and deciding to let personal hope and determination win out for the next while. You demonstrate for all of us what we each must do if we are to succeed in making a better, safer, more just world and a healthy Earth. I don't think you see yourself as a leader, but, you are a rare one leading quietly by example. Never ahead of anyone and never behind, always right beside us. Thank you for doing this.


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        • moonshellblue moonshellblue

          VicFromOregon, I cannot find the words to express how touched I am by your words. Thank you so much, you are a beautiful writer and your words of recognition have encouraged many here on Enenews thus boosting our resolve to end this nuclear madness. Take good care and no worries and thanks again for your posts.


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  • ftlt

    CaptD: You left out a couple in your list of the most obvious ones that are on an agenda today…1: A state sanctioned military strike on a nuclear power plant or facility or 2: A limited nuclear war that targets them . . . …. …….
    1 or 2 may be in Israel's plans for stopping the Iranian nuclear program… They have certainly been talking of implementing a military strike option enough of late… And the USA has supplied them with our latest bunker-buster bombs by the multi dozens in a very public way… It should not be that much trouble for a sophisticated nuclear armed Israel to make them nuclear tipped, I would think… And a certain level denial of their use is built-in with the release of the target's radioactive materials…
    …………………..
    I ask the question, is an attack by nation on another county's major nuclear material stockpile or its major nuclear power station – even with conventional weapons – """" A Nuclear First Strike """"… I say, YES, it is…
    I am gravely concerned, this could happen much sooner than we would like to think…

    On the article, it really is a breath of fresh air and sanity for once on here..


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  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    Yep, there's "nothing" good about nuclear power. Nothing. So, time to move on. Good riddance.


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  • M Curie M Curie

    B&B -
    Thanks for giving me another excellent reason to be glad I replaced my Toyota Highlander with a BMW X1! It's a fun drive + much more fuel efficient.
    We all know nuclear reactors/medicine came about as an excuse for and by product of war-related research to begin with. But fighting the money=power invested since the 1940s and the apathy of the majority in the US will be a long up-hill battle at best.


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  • ML

    FORBES is insane. Insanity is allowing an energy man produces to corrupt the very code of life: DNA. This is an outrage to all life, not just man's.
    Insanity is not promoting the cleanest energy production. Insanity is putting life at risk because of a technology that has no "off switch" when something goes wrong.
    Insanity is valuing someone's life more than another's such that there is an arm's race, especially a nuclear arm's race.


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  • Radio VicFromOregon

    Okay, everyone, forward a copy of this to your elected leaders and representatives. This is the stuff they can grasp and understand, and since their jobs are to help create jobs, perhaps, for some, even more than protect the public, this article is a door opener for them.


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  • Radio VicFromOregon

    This is one for facebook et al, tweets, and short paragraph rewrites to the Sunday editorials. Let's get this visible people! The MSM keeps a finger on the pulse of blogs, so to the super bloggers that go to various sites friendly and foe, copy/paste…copy/paste…copy/paste…copy/pas


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  • voltscommissar

    Congratulations to Sage Journals at http://bos.sagepub.com/content/current

    …where I have just downloaded for FREE (!!) the full PDFs of all nuke-related articles from the latest Bulletin of Atomic Scientists issue. No article is bigger than 13 pages.

    It looks like pay-per-view, but I got the lot for free, without hacking anything.


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