Hohlefelder: Gabriel`s Demands - Election Show Without Substance

Berlin, 09.07.2009

The German Atomic Forum welcomes the comprehensive description of the sequence of events surrounding Krümmel given by Tuomo Hatakka, Chairman of the Board of Vattenfall Europe, and his announcement of further clarification and consequences.

Dr. Walter Hohlefelder, President of the German Atomic Forum said, "As regrettable as the whole incident in Krümmel is, its public impact is gained less due to its significance with regard to safety than due to the repetition of a comparable incident." The nuclear power plant reacted to the failure of the transformer on 4 July 2009 as per design and in accordance with the rules. After investigation by the authorities responsible, the reactor scram in conjunction with the transformer fire in 2007 was rated at the lowest level 0 (incident without or with slight safety-related significance) with regard to safety aspects on the seven-stage assessment scale of the International Atomic Energy Authority (IAEA). According to current knowledge this is also to be anticipated for the fast shutdown on 4 July 2009.

In response to the demands made in connection with this by Federal Minister for the Environment Sigmar Gabriel calling for shutdown of the older nuclear power plants and additionally of Krümmel and for abolition of the nuclear supervisory authorities at Federal Land level, Hohlefelder said, "The Minister is once again too hasty and too strident. Wanting to shut down all older plants and Krümmel as well for good measure due to an incident in a newish nuclear power plant rated `0` in relation to safety is completely absurd and simply demonstrates the arbitrariness of Gabriel`s political positioning. He is obviously not concerned with the factual treatment of a topic, which would be deemed proper for responsible nuclear supervision by the Federal Government, but is simply interested in exploiting the incident as an election campaign strategy. This is so obvious that it unmasks itself.

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