Nuclear Power Experiences World-Wide Renaissance

Dresden, 15.05.2001

Speaking at the Annual Nuclear Technology Conference in Dresden, the President of the German Atomic Forum (DAtF), Dr. Gert Maichel, drew a positive balance of the peaceful utilisation of nuclear power. In front of more than 1,000 conference participants from 19 countries, Maichel stressed that this technology, which in Germany was only too easily pronounced dead, was still very much alive all over the world.

Across the globe, there are currently 437 nuclear power plants in operation. In the year 2000, they produced a total of 2,468 TWh of electrical energy. Another 36 plants are under construction. Industrialised nations such as the USA or Finland are planning the erection of further reactor units. The international utilisation of nuclear power in combination with a mix of other energy sources is indispensable in the long run. Taking the world-wide CO2 balance as well as the aspects of supply safety and profitability into account, this technology will continue to be around in the future, too.

Germany`s politically motivated termination of electricity production from nuclear power is a national exception. "I can see no signs of any other countries following this example at an increasing rate", declared the President of the DAtF. "On the contrary, many other countries are using the advantages of this technology and are relying on it even more than they used to", Maichel continued.

Irrespective of this fact, Maichel is optimistic that the agreement concluded in June 2000 will shortly be ready to be signed. The last eleven months have shown that parts of the agreement have already been implemented today in operational and political practice. "The ministry draft of the amendment of the Atomic Energy Act that is now available largely mirrors the spirit of the agreement", said Maichel. "Once the final details - which can be resolved - have been clarified over the next few days, there should be no longer any obstacles to the signing of the agreement. This process is very painful for the industry, but under the present political constellation there is no alternative", the DAtF President pointed out. For the German energy industry, it means reliable economic framework conditions in the long run and a guarantee of undisturbed operation of its nuclear power plants.


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