"Europe is experiencing a positive turnaround in favour of nuclear power. In Germany, this development is currently still being blockaded by politics." This was the summary by Dr. Walter Hohlefelder, President of the German Atomic Forum, of the message transported by the international conference under the motto "Europe invests into nuclear power again" staged in Berlin. "As the last G8 Summit has also shown once again, Germany is isolating itself more and more by following a different path in energy strategy. Neither Europe not the rest of the world are finding anything impressive about the German nuclear phase-out," Dr. Hohlefelder continued.
"Since the German phase-out decision in the year 2000, the global boundary conditions for energy supply have changed decisively." Dr. Hohlefelder went on. The world-wide demand for energy was growing fast. Correspondingly, competition for primary energy sources and production sites was becoming tougher. The latter depended on reliable and cheap energy supply. At the same time, growing energy consumption also meant growing challenges for climate protection. Practically all leading industrial nations, such as France, Britain, the US and Japan, were reacting to these growing challenges by also planning to build new nuclear power plants. Furthermore, operating lifetimes of between 40 and 60 years were now quite normal for existing nuclear power plants world-wide. If one compared this to the German plants, which from an international perspective were leaders in safety, performance and availability, average operating lifetimes of 32 years were intended.
"In Germany, too, we have to have an open and pragmatic discussion again about the contribution that nuclear power can make to an economic, safe and environmentally compatible energy mix. The national Energy Summit will give us a very important chance in this respect. We ought to take it," said Dr. Hohlefelder.