The German Atomic Forum welcomes the fact that with the amendment of the Atomic Energy Act (AtG) that has just passed the German Bundestag, the legal basis has been established for the agreement between the Federal Government and the power utilities signed in June 2001. Now the power utilities have been given the long overdue calculable framework conditions for the undisturbed operation of their nuclear power plants. However, the German Atomic Forum considers the governing coalition`s intention to terminate the peaceful use of nuclear power a mistake. Until today, there is no conclusive general energy-political concept that takes the energy-economical and climate-political consequences adequately into consideration. It was not least the Energy Report presented by the Federal Economics Minister that made it quite clear how important a stable equilibrium between "supply safety", "environmental compatibility" and "profitability" is. Nuclear power makes an unquestionably important contribution to achieving such an equilibrium. For example, by saving the atmosphere annual emissions of 170 million tons of CO2, it contributes substantially to reaching the set climate protection targets. If nuclear power is to be replaced, CO2 emissions will rise. It still remains open how this gap is to be closed.
For the future it is important that German know-how in nuclear engineering is not lost. The Federal Government should therefore make absolutely sure that no obstacles are put in the way of the economic activities of the German manufacturing and supply industry on the national and international nuclear technology market. Also, a technological blackout in the area of science and research must be avoided.
Once the amendment of the AtG has entered into force in the spring of the coming year we shall see how far the spirit of the agreement will be mirrored in day-to-day operations and in the co-operation of all involved on federal and Länder level to ensure the undisturbed operation of the 19 German nuclear power plants.
DEUTSCHES ATOMFORUM E. V.