Nuclear Reprieve

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A decade ago, bowing to public pressure, Germany’s leftist government and its electric power companies agreed to a plan to shut down the country’s 17 nuclear power plants by 2022. These few plants supply fully 25% of the nation’s electricity; but the idea was to convert to “renewable” energy sources, such as wind and solar. Now, because of the high cost of renewable energy, the need to rein in public spending, and Germany’s desire to meet its targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, Angela Merkel’s center-right government has announced that it will extend the nukes’ life. The oldest reactors (designed over 30 years ago) will be allowed to continue operating for eight years past the original deadline, while newer plants will be allowed to operate for 14 years thereafter. This decision is, of course, expected to be fiercely resisted by the unreasoning Greens.

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