With a total of 171.3 terawatt hours (TWh) of electricity generated in 2001, the 19 German nuclear power plants have set an all-time national record. This way, nuclear power firmly established itself in `pole position` of German electricity generation. The 2001 results were published today on the occasion of the Winter Conference of the German Atomic Forum in Berlin.
Addressing the large audience of participants from Germany and abroad, the President of the German Atomic Forum, Dr. Gert Maichel, reviewed in his opening address the process of implementation of the agreement on the future use of nuclear power. The adoption of the amendment of the Atomic Energy Act, the speedy handling of the licensing procedures for the interim storage of spent fuel elements at the nuclear power plant sites, and the numerous transports that have been carried out are proof that all parties involved are sticking firmly to their commitments. Nonetheless, Dr. Maichel emphatically warned against misusing individual results for the purpose of achieving ideological goals. As an example, he mentioned the debate about the physical protection of nuclear facilities that was triggered off by the events of 11 September, and the events that occurred in some individual nuclear power plants. "These issues must not be inadmissibly amalgamated with the aim to stir up a new debate of principle", said Dr. Maichel. He clearly rebuffed any derived demands for exaggerated measures or the premature closure of older plants.
This year`s Winter Conference of the German Atomic Forum looks at energy supply concepts for the 21st century. The topicality of the issue is underlined by the high aims regarding climate protection as well as by the decisions to be taken with respect to replacement and additional capacities of more than 200,000 megawatts in Europe over the next 20 years. The question of which future role nuclear power can play in the connection needs to be answered within the context of a general integrated energy-political concept. This applies to Germany as well as Europe. "We do not need a patchwork quilt of populist and - on top of that - contradictory individual decisions", Dr. Maichel said. This was true especially with regard to the German nuclear energy policy and the simultaneous raising of the CO2 reduction target. What Germany needed was a concept that was based on responsible factual decisions - for economical and ecological reasons as well as for reasons of supply safety.