Nuclear Power Should be Judged without Prejudice

Berlin, 14.05.2002

The call for an unprejudiced judgement of nuclear power in Germany is at the centre of this year`s Annual Nuclear Technology Conference in Stuttgart. At present, this energy source covers more than 50% of the base load of the overall electricity supply in the Federal Republic of Germany. Against the background of the necessary replacement of power plant capacities in Europe of about 200,000 MW by the year 2020 and an expected rise in electricity demand in the same order of magnitude over this period, the nuclear power option must not be excluded from the start. Being a profitable and CO2-free energy source, it has already today its fixed place in the energy mix not only in Germany but in other countries as well. The energy policies of other industrialised nations world-wide and in Europe show in addition that there is a clear trend towards the peaceful use of nuclear power.

Speaking at the Annual Conference, German Nuclear Forum president Dr. Gert Maichel called for an open-minded re-appraisal of nuclear power. "A general ban on the construction of new nuclear power plants as intended by the present Federal Government, is an energy-political mistake. What needs to be done rather more is to keep the nuclear power option open for future generations." Addressing more than 1,000 participants, Dr. Maichel warned: "Any responsible future energy supply policy will imply already today a matter-of-fact and unideological assessment of all energy sources." According to Dr. Maichel, the most important criterion is not just an open-minded debate among politicians but among the general public as well.

Against this background, the German Atomic Forum each year awards the Karl-Winnacker Prize (worth 5,000 euros). The prize is awarded to journalists who have contributed with their work to the promotion of public understanding of the peaceful use of nuclear power. At the Annual Nuclear Technology Conference, this year`s prize will be presented to freelance journalist Dagmar Röhrlich from Cologne. By way of the award, she is honoured for her well-researched radio features which for many years have been contributing to the de-emotionalisation of the nuclear power debate.

DEUTSCHES ATOMFORUM E.V.

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