“As a result, the responsibility for the interim storage of radioactive waste from energy supply companies will be centrally placed in the hands of BGZ” (BGZ website). This led to the new Act on the Further Development of the Electricity Market (Gesetz zur Weiterentwicklung des Strommarktes), which was passed by both houses of parliament in July 2016, heralded by the energy minister as “the biggest reform of the power market since the liberalization in the 1990s.” Also referred to as the Electricity Market Act (Strommarktgesetz), it establishes the primacy of energy-only markets and replaced politically-set feed-in tariff support with competitive tenders for renewables. In 2019, 40% of German power generation was renewable, and 12% was nuclear. Germany's decision to shut its nuclear plants means that back-up for its massive investment in intermittent new renewables needs to be from coal and gas, which will create an extra 300 million tonnes of CO2 to 2020 from increased fossil fuel use. In May 2011 the Reaktor-Sicherheitskommission (RSK, Reactor Safety Commission) reported that all German reactors were basically sound, and safe. Ahaus is in western Germany. The fuel tax expired at the end of 2016, and accordingly utilities had delayed refuelling five units until January and February 2017. More broadly, onshore high-voltage grids in Germany will have to undergo considerable expansion in the next decade to facilitate Energiewende and the development of the European electricity market. The Radiation Protection Ordinance, Nuclear Licensing Procedure Ordinance and six other ordinances support this. Claims for damages will be decided subsequently and are expected to be over €2 billion. It granted a request from E.On to refund some €96 million, and nuclear fuel tax collections were to be suspended. If an account exists, we've sent an email with a link to reset your password. An extended comment on the legal situation by a German energy law specialist was published by World Nuclear News (10 June 2015). Annual demand for enrichment is about 2.2 million SWU, most of which is provided by Urenco's Gronau plant, with capacity of 1.8 million SWU/yr being expanded to 4.5 million SWU/yr, following 2005 approval by the government coalition. In 2000 the European Commission approved the merger of two of Germany's biggest utilities, Veba and Viag, to form E.ON, which owned or had a stake in 12 of the country's 19 nuclear reactors which were operating then. In December 2017 BGE was merged with Deutsche Gesellschaft zum Bau von Endlagern für Abfallstoffe mbH (DBE), formerly a 75% subsidiary of spent fuel cask supplier GNS. The last German reactor is scheduled to shut down by the end … The agreement, while limiting plant lifetime to some degree, averted the risk of any federally-enforced plant closures during the term of that government. The Atomic Energy Act was promulgated in 1959 and is the core legislation relevant to licensing and safety. In July 2014 planned closures exceeded conventional capacity under construction by 4.7 GWe, and the difference in southern Germany was 5.7 GWe. German Generating costs 2013 (Fraunhofer Inst). Annual consumption is about 6300 kWh per capita. Nuclear power in Germany accounted for 11.63% of electricity supply in 2017 compared to 22.4% in 2010. Gorleben: Following an exhaustive site selection process the state government of Lower Saxony in 1977 declared the salt dome at Gorleben to be the location for a national centre for disposal of radioactive wastes. As part of the agreement, GNS will transfer its interim storage activities to the government, including the existing central interim storage facilities in Ahaus and Gorleben which were transferred to BGZ at the end of July 2017. PHOTO: The agreement was a pragmatic compromise which limited political interference while providing a basis and plenty of time for formulation of a national energy policy. The Czech government in 2012 complained it was close to a blackout because the German wind farms overloaded its grid. Platts Power in Europe In 2015 Germany’s electricity exports doubled to 60 TWh, mainly from low-cost lignite and surplus wind generation – it was a windy year. The seven power stations still in operation today are due to close by 2022. The European Commission’s Joint Research Centre focused on nuclear energy is at Karlsruhe, in Baden-Württemberg near the French border. Unit A closed in 1977, before B and C began production in 1984 and 1985, with the second unit decommissioned in 2017. However, utilities could reduce their contribution to renewables if safety upgrades to particular individual nuclear plants cost more than €500 million. Coal-fired capacity under construction and expected online by 2016 includes: RWE – Hamm Westfalen 750-800 MWe; RWE, EnBW & MVV Energie – Mannheim 900 MWe; E.ON – Datteln 1000-1100 MWe. It had previously said simply that it expects full compensation for its costs, which it noted as SEK10 billion ($1.5 billion) for the first half of 2011 alone. In 2016 the difference between payments to operators of renewable energy plants and their revenue from selling electricity was expected to be €24 billion. It’s a mission that stretches beyond our lifetimes – the storage facility will finally be sealed sometime between the years 2130 and 2170. Nuclear Power Plants in Germany In 2019 the then 7 German nuclear power plants generated 75.071 billion kilowatt hours of electricity (gross). The 122 canisters of vitrified waste are stored at Greifswald while awaiting disposal in a geological repository. About 200,000 cubic metres of mostly low-level waste “with negligible heat generation” is likely to be moved to Konrad, along with about 100,000 cubic metres of waste from Urenco’s Gronau enrichment plant. In 2016 E.ON spun off Uniper, which was to take over all its nuclear assets in 2016, but in the event left German nuclear plants with E.ON. Dismantling would be undertaken over a 15-20 year period. In September 2016 Vattenfall was given permission by the state government to transfer 990 fuel assemblies from the storage pool at Krümmel into CASTOR dry storage casks onsite. However, the new Repository Site Selection Act (StandAG) which was passed in July 2013 created a 33-member commission in May 2014 to develop ‘basic principles’ for site selection, including safety and economic requirements, and selection criteria for rock formations. (VGB) is the European technical association for power and heat generation and works in close co-operation with Eurelectric on the European level and with the corresponding energy and water industries association (BDEW) on the national level. Nevertheless, in April 2016 the 19-member Commission on the Review of the Financing of the Nuclear Phaseout (KFK) called for utilities to provide an extra €23.3 billion “risk premium” and pay all provisions into a state-run fund, In May 2015 E.On and Vattenfall Europe (VENE) signed an agreement to cooperate on decommissioning "in order to make the decommissioning and dismantling process of their joint venture nuclear power plants as economical as possible." To the end of 2009, 1700 tonnes of UF6 from Gronau had been deconverted there and returned to Gronau as U3O8. This picture changed in 2011, with the operating fleet being reduced to nine reactors with 12,003 MWe capacity, and then to eight reactors with 10,728 MWe. This decision makes it difficult for Germany to take technical steps toward the bomb under the guise of a peaceful program. Due to the feed-in tariffs of the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG – Erneuerbare Energien Gesetz) passed in 2000, wind power has become the most important renewable source of electricity production in Germany. In 1960 a 16 MWe experimental nuclear power plant ordered in 1958 was started up. The four operators in 2015 had a total of about €38 billion reserves set aside for decommissioning and waste disposal. In July 2016 a regional court in Hannover ruled that the company was not entitled to €382 compensation for the early closure of Isar 1 and Unterweser units. Connection with Russia's Kaliningrad Baltic exclave, where a 2400 MWe Russian nuclear plant was planned, was envisaged and Russia expected to export half the output of that plant to Germany until confronted with political realities which caused the Baltic plant construction to be put on hold. Germany's nuclear phase out contributed to an additional 1,100 deaths a year, mostly from increased use of coal power to offset foregone power output, a … Early in 2017 the EC approved €40 million for a study on “urgently needed” Suedlink on two routes: Brunsbuettel-Grossgartach and Wilster-Grafenrheinfeld. To complete your CNN profile and ensure you are able to receive important account information, please verify your email address. Unit 1 was about 85% complete. In 2008 & 2009 Urenco shipped 518 tonnes of tails assaying 0.26% or less from Gronau to Areva's W Plant at Pierrelatte in France for deconversion. Following protests concerning nuclear power plants in the 1970s, notably against construction of a plant at Whyl, by the end of the decade German public opinion was turning against nuclear power and embracing the notion of energy from nature. The difference between projected feed-in tariffs and market revenues forms the essential part of the EEG surcharge applied to most consumers. Work will begin in 2017 and is expected to take 15 years at a cost of about €1 billion. Success! An insight on the continued reliance on lignite can be gained from RWE, which in 2012 commissioned BoA units 2&3 in North Rhine-Westphalia near Cologne, 2200 MWe billed as “the world’s most advanced lignite-fired power station” and costing €2.6 billion. Protesters block railway tracks outside Gorleben in 2010. © 2020 Cable News Network. The utility will pay €6.8 billion by July to indemnify itself from "largely politically induced disposal risks and avoid a high, disadvantageous interest burden." However, the following month BNetzA said that through to 2018 it expected 10.9 GWe to come on line – mostly coal – and 9.94 GWe to be decommissioned, mostly coal and gas but including the Grafenrheinfeld nuclear plant of 1275 MWe by the end of 2015 and the Gundremmigen B plant of 1284 MWe two years later. It includes the spent fuel rods from nuclear power plants. Feed-in tariffs subsidising renewables alone would cost some €680 billion by 2020, and that figure could increase further if the market price of electricity fell, he warned. The fears around high-level waste are even greater. Germany is in the unique position of knowing exactly how much waste it will be dealing with. In addition RWE and E.ON have 2650 MWe in the Netherlands. A Christian Democrat (CDU) federal government then maintained support for existing nuclear power generation nationally until defeated in 1998. However, particularly in the south, plant closures have exceeded new capacity coming online. Germany’s problem is “it doesn’t have a whole lot of granite,” said Schreurs. Knowing where to put it is the challenge. RWE is the largest lignite power producer, and electricity costs from lignite can be as low as €15/MWh (typically €18-24, compared with black coal €22-32 marginal costs/MWh). The caps are designed to allow about 11 TWh renewables growth each year. However proposals for a capacity market were rejected in 2015. DW looks at what is going on at a global level and examines why Germany has taken a different path. In 1986 the Chernobyl accident caused great concern in Germany and made the negative image worse, thus consolidating opposition to nuclear power. Vattenfall in June 2012 contested the confiscation of generation rights for the Brunsbüttel and Krümmel nuclear power plants, and filed the case with the autonomous International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) in Washington, which was designed in 1965 by the World Bank and established by a convention now signed by 143 countries. Other elements included: a government commitment not to introduce any "one-sided" economic or taxation measures, a recognition by the government of the high safety standards of German nuclear plants and a guarantee not to erode those standards, the resumption of spent fuel transports for reprocessing in France and UK for five years or until contracts expire, and maintenance of two waste repository projects (at Konrad and Gorleben). Court of Justice of the European Union, Press Release No 62/15, German duty on nuclear fuel is compatible with EU law (4 June 2015) "In many pathways, nuclear power does play a role," said Joeri Rogelj, one of the report’s authors and a researcher at the Austrian International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, but "it was not part of the assessment whether nuclear power is a requirement" to keep to the 1.5-degree goal. Bundesnetzagentur (BNetzA) has received numerous requests from operators to retire coal- and gas-fired plants which have become unprofitable, and it has approved many of these as over 10 GWe of new coal-fired capacity comes online. Next year the team hope to have identified potential storage sites in Germany (there are no plans to export the waste). PHOTO: The network upgrades and additions would require investment of some €20 billion by 2022. In 2016 it applied similarly for Phillipsburg 2. The total includes a 35% risk premium in case costs are greater than anticipated. The four utilities have made provisions of over €30 billion on account of the government decisions, and the German government appears to be facing claims of this magnitude. Protesters have blocked railway tracks to stop what they described as “Chernobyl on wheels” – containers of radioactive waste headed for Gorleben’s temporary storage facility. This loop flow is leading to proposals for a north-south price zone split. In June 2017 the Federal Constitutional Court ruled that the nuclear fuel tax was “formally unconstitutional and void”, which means that the three utilities stand to be reimbursed some €6.3 billion paid between 2011 and 2016 – €2.8 billion by E.On, €1.7 billion by RWE and €1.44 billion by EnBW, plus interest. Finland, which has four nuclear power plants and plans to build more in the future, is a world leader in this field. Renewables support continues to be granted for a 20-year operating period, albeit at much lower rates after the first five years. It is also a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group. The country was a “blank map” of potential sites, it added. Application of denial often meant getting there first, which to … The Hesse ministry of environment approved plans in March 2017, including for defuelling unit B from 2017. A picture of a coronavirus patient in a hospital ward in Tehran, Iran. GNS Gesellschaft für Nuklear-Service mbH (GNS) set up in 1977 and owned by the four nuclear utilities has been responsible for all operations regarding the transport and disposal of waste in Germany, at nine sites. Alexey Navalny told CNN's Clarissa Ward he thought he would die on the flight from Tomsk. The price is guaranteed for 20 years after completion of the plant, so that the operators have confidence in their planning criteria. Vattenfall Europe in December 2010 secured approval for a 1,640 MWe coal-fired plant at Moorburg after two years of opposition by agreeing to environmental measures which will curb profitability. The German Atomic Forum (Deutsches Atomforum, DAtF), said: "In addition to the process and criteria, the commission has also developed a comprehensive and extremely ambitious involvement process that should give citizens, particularly in affected regions, far-reaching opportunities for participation. According to the commission's final report, the site with "the best safety" is to be determined in a three-phase process and defined by federal law. E.ON has equity in the following nuclear plants which from January 2016 are managed by its subsidiary PreussenElektra: Gundremmingen B&C 25%, Grohnde 83.3%, Brokdorf 80%, Isar 2 75%, Emsland 12.5%. Unlike wind and solar sources, they are highly flexible and capable of producing electricity 24/7, which makes them the trump card of energy industry transformation.” The state premier said that the plant was “an important contribution to security of supply.”. Christian von Hirschhausen et al, German Nuclear Phase-Out Enters the Next Stage: Electricity Supply Remains Secure – Major Challenges and High Costs for Dismantling and Final Waste Disposal, DIW Economic Bulletin 22+23.2015, p293-301 (3 June 2015). Video Transcript [NO SPEECH] Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images), PHOTO: Nuclear Engineering International World Nuclear Industry Handbook 2004 The prices of electricity for private and most commercial customers have risen sharply as Energiewende took hold. Over the decades, there have been countless demonstrations against the proposal. The government wanted to reduce the timeframe for new power lines to four years on average, and the Federal Administrative Court would handle any legal cases arising from the power line developments, a measure to speed up the projects. The Merkel government has decided to phase out both nuclear power and coal plants. In 2017 wind and solar PV had capacity factors of 22% and 11% respectively, compared with 90% for nuclear (IEA figures). The utilities have been responsible for interim storage of spent fuel, and formed joint companies to build and operate offsite surface facilities at Ahaus and Gorleben. The BfS is responsible for licensing all nuclear waste transports. This is near Schweinfurt in northern Bavaria. * Redispatching is an intervention in the market-based operating schedule of generating units in order to shift feed-ins from power stations. This commenced with the publication in October 2014 of a green paper, followed in July 2015 by a white paper titled An electricity market for Germany’s energy transition. Hence 90% opposed building new nuclear plants (73% in 2005). For other plants, no change from EEG 2014. In addition, a lot of northern renewable power is routed south through Poland and Czech Republic. Opposition to nuclear power began in 1975 with the protests at the construction site of the proposed Wyhl reactor. This gave rise to a net reduction of southern capacity of 1.7 GWe, and by the end of 2018 BNetzA predicts a 5.6 GWe net deficit in the south, rising to 7 GWe in 2020. It strongly warned of resulting vulnerability to major failures and also unreliability especially in the south. In November 1998 Germany's electric utilities issued a joint statement pointing out that achievement of greenhouse goals would not be possible without nuclear energy. After 36 years of operations the plant shut was down in 2005 and has been in the process of dismantling since 2008. Former salt mines at Asse and Morsleben, eastern Germany, that were used for low- and medium-level nuclear waste in the 1960s and 1970s, must now be closed in multibillion-dollar operations after failing to meet today’s safety standards. In late 2012 Vattenfall Europe submitted an application to decommission and dismantle Brunsbüttel, which had been closed since 2007, and in August 2015 it applied similarly for Krümmel, which had not run since 2009. The Federal Ministry of Economics & Technology (BMWi) implements national energy policy. The four TSOs said that redispatch costs could rise to €4 billion per year by 2020, and BNetzA agreed that this was not unrealistic, given slow progress with transmission expansion. The site must be beyond rock-solid, with no groundwater or earthquakes that could cause a leakage. The price of globally traded hard coal has dropped in the past few years, partly because shale-gas-rich America is exporting so much. It undertakes research relevant to nuclear plant safety. In light of the implications of nuclear weapons, German nuclear fission and related technologies were singled out for special attention. The August 2015 program did not seek an extension to the Konrad repository licence, as previously proposed, due to local opposition. During 1970s and 1980s Nukem manufactured more than 250,000 fuel elements for the AVR and more than one million for the THTR. Schreurs admitted public mistrust was a challenge, given Germany’s recent history of disastrous storage sites. Nuclear Engineering International, Decommissioning in Germany (27 March 2013) Other proposals are for a high-level waste (HLW) repository in opalinus clay, which occurs in a number of places in Germany. Germany’s Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy says it aims to find a final repository for highly radioactive waste “which offers the best possible safety and security for a period of a million years.”. It is carried out to prevent power lines becoming overloaded or to relieve overloading on power lines. In October 1998 a coalition government was formed between the Social Democratic Party (SPD) and the Green Party, the latter having polled only 6.7% of the vote. In May 2017 GNS announced that it had reached agreement with the BMU for the transfer of its share in BGZ so that the federal government would become the sole owner of BGZ. The Soviet Union’s Chernobyl disaster in April 1986 further eroded Germany’s attitude toward … In late 2012 Vattenfall Europe submitted an application to decommission and dismantle Brunsbüttel, and in August 2015 it applied similarly for Krümmel, to be undertaken over a 15-20 year period. * A major element in the federal government's war of attrition through 1999-2000 against the nuclear utilities was a law retrospectively to tax funds amounting to DM 50 billion which have been contributed by electricity users and set aside in trust as provision for waste management, decommissioning nuclear power plants and rehabilitating lignite mines. It is now considered a possible site for geological disposal of high-level wastes. The poll also showed a sharp drop in sympathy for militant protests against transport of radioactive waste. After Germany announced that it will phase out nuclear power by 2022, photographer Bernhard Ludewig set out to capture the last remnants of a disappearing atomic age. The federal government through the Federal Office for Radiation Protection (Bundesamt für Strahlenschutz, BfS) has been responsible for building and operating final repositories for high-level waste, but progress in this has been hindered by opposition from Länder governments. However, this policy faltered after the Chernobyl accident in 1986, and the last new nuclear power plant was commissioned in 1989. The country's four nuclear power utilities are pressing claims for compensation and in particular are suing the government over continuing with the nuclear tax introduced in relation to the 8- and 14-year licence extensions agreed in September 2010. In January 2017 E.ON’s PreussenElektra received a decommissioning and dismantling licence for Isar 1, the first such licence since 2011. Near the end of World War II, the principal Allied war powers made plans for exploitation of German science. In 2012 renewable power producers collected some €20 billion for electricity having a wholesale market value of €3 billion. NB. Overgenerous and unsustainable subsidy programmes resulted in numerous redesigns of the renewable support schemes, which increased regulatory uncertainty and financial risk for all stakeholders in the renewable energy industry. It is a physical impossibility for Germany to import nuclear power from foreign reactors already running full blast anyway, yet the claim that Germany is relying on foreign nuclear continues to rear its ugly head. EON equity: Isar 1 100%, Unterweser 100%, Krümmel 50%, Brunsbüttel 33.3%, Grafenrheinfeld 100%, Gundremmingen 25%. In 2017 the government faced the question of a carbon floor price made acute by impending elections and coalition disagreement on the matter. The new arrangement is in place of feed-in tariffs, which the EC had ordered to be phased out over 2016-20. However, despite this safety assurance, on 30 May 2011, after increasing pressure from anti-nuclear federal states, the government decided to revive the previous government's phase-out plan and close all reactors by 2022 but without abolishing the fuel tax, thus reneging on the new fuel tax trade-off. However, following passage of the new waste repository law in mid-2013, a new independent regulator – the Federal Office for Nuclear Waste Disposal – will be established. The site has held three unit’s since it was commissioned in 1966 – but just one reactor remains. Since 2013 Germany has had occasions of negative spot power prices due to reduced demand and windy weather. EnBW equity: Neckarwestheim 100%, Phillipsburg 100%. CNN to Ivory Coast leader: Does that sound like democracy? GNS said that 329 casks of HLW were at Ahaus and 113 casks at Gorleben (5 spent fuel, 108 vitrified HLW from Areva at La Hague). The court also said the duty on nuclear fuel did not constitute illegal state aid to non-nuclear sources. It sought compensation of €261 million, but a regional court in Bonn ruled in April 2016 that the claim could not be allowed to stand because EnBW had not immediately used “all legal means available” to avert having its two reactors – Neckarwestheim 1 and Phillipsburg 1 – shut down. In February 2017 RWE said Germany's nuclear energy phase-out fund had imposed a "substantial one-off burden" on its business last year. Reuters reported in October 2015 that: “Since Fukushima, shares in Germany's top three energy groups – E.ON, RWE and EnBW – have lost an average 56 percent, or €50 billion in combined market value, while racking up €65 billion in net debt, about twice their current combined market value. Another 43 projects are identified in the BBPlG, based on the 2014 version of the Network Development Plan (NEP) presented annually by TSOs to the BNetzA. By 2020 it is planned that wind and solar renewables should contribute 20% of electricity supplies, compared with 11% at present (7.5% wind, 4.5% solar). The 200 MWt (72 MWe) HTR-modul was then designed by Siemens/Interatom and licensed in 1989, but was not constructed. Based on the contractual obligations of TSOs, power stations are instructed to reduce their feed-in power, while other power stations are simultaneously instructed to increase their feed-in power. In 1998 it signed the Additional Protocol in relation to its safeguards agreements with both IAEA and Euratom. From Russia 270 tonnes of enriched uranium product was returned in this period. Whereas feed-in tariffs were set differentially between the north (more wind) and south (most demand), the new auction system does not allow that, so favours the north. Nuclear power in Germany: | | ||| | The |Grafenrheinfeld Nuclear Power Plant| in Germany. The energy ministry estimated that the underground option would cost €3 to 8 billion more than overhead lines, to be added to consumers’ bills, but was expected to speed up approvals. Marhaba Yakub Salay (centre) holds a framed photograph of her sister, Mayila Yakufu, who was sent sent to detention centre in Xinjiang. It is the designated project owner and operator of radioactive waste repositories following the Final Repository Commission’s report. The decision was based on EnBW’s failure in April in a Bonn court, and due to the company’s failure to seek immediate legal action against the moratorium. In October 2015 the government approved plans for about 1000 km of high-voltage transmission lines from the north and close to populated areas to be built underground. However, this is not considered to represent a change in the underlying antipathy. 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