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Future nuclear policy in Germany

(received 11/15/98 -- ratitor)

3.2. Phase-out of nuclear energy

The general and un-reversible final phase-out from the use of nuclear energy will be enacted to law within this parlamentary period.

In a first step as part of the 100-days-program a first renewal of the Atomic Law will be brought to parlament as follows:

  • Cancellation of the law provision to promote the use of nuclear energy.
  • Introduction of the necessity of safety assessments to be conducted within one year.
  • Clearification of who is legally responsible to show that there is no danger from an operated facility.
  • Limitation to direct disposal as the only waste management route [end of reprocessing].
  • Dismissing the nuclear law renewal of the former year (excluding the part with the transfer of european to german law).
  • Raising owner's nuclear accidents insurance fund requirements.

In a second step the government will invite the electricity producers to talks on a new energy policy on steps to phase-out of nuclear energy and on waste management questions in order to come to a consensus in these matters. The new government limits the time frame for these talks to one year after the new government comes into power.

As third step the coalition will after the one year period ends bring a law draft to parliament to phase-out nuclear energy without any financial compensation for the owners; the operating licenses will then get time-limited. The legal requirements for waste management will be changed in parallel to be suited.

Nuclear Waste management will be ruled as follows: The coalition partners agree that the former nuclear waste management scheme has failed and has no practical basis any more. A new national waste management scheme for the remaining nuclear wastes will be enacted.

  • For the final disposal of all radioactive wastes only a single final disposal site is required in a deep geological formation.

  • Time determining requirement for the disposal of all sorts of radioactive waste is the disposal of highly radioactive waste approximately from the year 2030 on.

  • The suitability of the salt dome at Gorleben is in doubt. Therefore the work on determining suitability at Gorleben will be stopped and other potential sites in different geological settings will also be assessed. A comparision of the sites' suitability then will follow and a new site will then be selected on the basis of that comparision.

  • The disposal of [low radioactive] radioactive wastes at the Morsleben site will be ended. The licensing procedure will be limited to the final closure of that disposal site.

  • In general each operator of a nuclear power plant has to create interim storage capacity at or in the vicinity of his site if no permitted capacity exists at site. Spent nuclear fuel can only be transported if no storage capacity at-site is permitted and the owner is not liable for having no on-site capacity. Interim storage sites will not be used as final storage sites.

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Gerhard Schmidt
Bunsenstrasse 14
D-64293 Darmstadt
Phone +49-6151-8191-17
Fax -33

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