Greenpeace Conducts Cost Debate with Methodological Errors and Polemic Arguments

Berlin, 27.08.2012

In the debate surrounding the structuring and costs of the energy transition, Greenpeace Energy and others are conducting the ideological battles of the past using arguments that are old and flawed. Known methodological errors were used to extrapolate the costs of nuclear energy in the commissioned study “What electricity really costs”, which Greenpeace Energy and the Federal Association for Wind Energy presented in Berlin on 27 August. The facts turn out to be different. A few examples:

  • Commercial electricity production from nuclear energy has never at any time received subsidies in Germany.
  • The special reserves put aside by the operators of German nuclear power plants are not a government subsidy, they will ensure the financing of decommissioning, dismantling and waste management of the German plants and their waste. This has been acknowledged by various federal governments and confirmed by the highest courts.
  • The study assumes the operation and monitoring of a final repository for high active waste for a million years; this is dubious for cost and safety reasons.
  • The total amounts of the alleged nuclear energy subsidy also include the costs of remediation at Wismut AG, decommissioning of the former East German nuclear power plants and Germany’s contribution towards safeguarding the Chernobyl NPP.

Dr. Ralf Güldner, President of the DAtF stresses, “The point for everyone now should be to get a grip on the really enormous challenges of the energy transition and the costs associated with it. At the same time, all the tasks required for the decommissioning of nuclear power plants and for waste management of both the high active as well as low and medium active waste should be addressed swiftly. The costs for this are and were always included in the relatively low costs for electricity produced from nuclear energy.”

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