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德国将延长核反应堆的寿命

柏林( 法新社)——德国将其17个核反应堆的寿命延长平均12年,环境部长诺伯特·勒特根星期一在对争议的问题进行的马拉松式谈判之后宣布。

这一决定在12次小时的高级政治家谈话之后作出,形成了欧洲最大经济体的未来能源政策的主要组成部分。

较老核反应堆的寿命将被延长八年而那些较新的延长14年,勒特根说,补充说德国将每年花费三十亿欧元来开发可再生能源。

总理安格拉·默克尔的前任格哈德·施罗德曾经决定到2020左右暂停使用反应堆。

默克尔希望作为国家新的“能源理念”的一部分延迟关闭,“能源理念”由她的内阁考虑于9月28日制定出。

这一宣布立即遇到了不同的反应。

经济部长赖纳·布鲁德雷说,“我们共同找到了一条把德国向前推进的道路。”

但是,这一决定被绿色和平组织和其它环保组织和德国绿党批评。

默克尔把这一延长称为“桥梁”直到像风电和太阳能这样的可再生能源可产生更多能量,因为德国试图减少对煤炭的依赖。

关于延长多久和从能源工业索取什么价格的辩论在该国和在政府内激烈的展开,而能源工业受益于此延长。

对默克尔联合政府的支持在最近的民意测验下跌,调查表明大多数的德国人反对延迟该国无核化日期的想法。

总理,前环境部长的她,较早地暗示说她优先选择延长10-15年,说这在技术上是合理的。 但并不是她争吵中的联合政府中的每个人都赞成。

勒特根,来自默克尔的保守派基督教民主党,说他希望把限制延长至八年。

但布鲁德雷,来自安商的自由民主党,默克尔的少数联盟伙伴,希望延长20年。

上个月的一份政府委托的报告为的是解释清楚但有这么多的变数,尤其是预测未来的电力和油价以及人口统计,结果很没有结果。

但它确实略述了利害有多高。

没有核电,报告说,德国可以不再想以1990年排放水平的在2050年减少百分之八十二氧化碳排放量的目标。

环境监督组织绿色和平组织藐视该报告并且指责默克尔屈服于强大的核能游说,由越来越有自信的反对派发出的指控。

“10年或15年的延长。听起来无害,但不是。”托比亚斯·里德尔,绿色和平组织的核能专家,在星期五说。

另一个被包括的项目是辩论如何使如莱茵集团、瀑布能源公司和意昂集团支付他们工厂的延长以及确保对德国可再生能源能量输出的更大贡献。

作为2011到2014期间800亿欧元紧缩计划的一部分,柏林要每年从能源公司收取23亿欧元,作为保留他们工厂开放久些的交换条件。

但公用事业公司将他们重要的游说能力投入到抵制这样的征收,核税不在星期三批准的紧缩方案中。

 默克尔手头有个棘手的法律局面,因为她必须确保任何法律草案不会受到联邦上院批准的影响,她今年早些时候在那里失去了多数控制。


 
Germany to extend life of nuclear reactors

BERLIN (AFP) – Germany will extend the life of its 17 nuclear reactors by 12 years on average, Environment Minister Norbert Roettgen announced Monday after marathon talks on the controversial issue.

The decision came after 12 hours of talks between senior politicians and forms a key component of the future energy policy of Europe's largest economy.

The lives of older plants will be extended by eight years and those of newer ones by 14 years, Roettgen said, adding that Germany would spend three billion euros annually to develop renewable energy.

Chancellor Angela Merkel's predecessor Gerhard Schroeder had decided to mothball the reactors by around 2020.

Merkel wanted to postpone the shutdown as part of a new "energy concept" for the country due to go before her cabinet on September 28.

The announcement immediately met with mixed reactions.

"We have together found a way to take Germany forward," said Economy Minister Rainer Bruederle.

But the decision was criticised by Greenpeace and other environmental groups as well as Germany's Green Party.

Merkel calls the extension a "bridge" until renewable sources of energy such as wind and solar power can produce more of Germany's power as it seeks to reduce dependence on coal.

A debate has raged in the country and in government over how long to extend and what price to exact from the energy industry, which stands to benefit from the move.

Support for Merkel's coalition has tumbled in recent opinion polls and surveys suggested a majority of Germans opposed the idea of postponing the date that the country goes nuclear-free.

The chancellor, a former environment minister herself, had earlier hinted that her preference was for an extension of 10-15 years, saying this is what is "technically reasonable."

But not everyone in her squabbling coalition agreed.

Roettgen, from Merkel's own conservative Christian Democrats, said he wanted to limit the extension to eight years.

But Bruederle, from the pro-business Free Democrats, Merkel's minority coalition partners, wanted an extension of up to 20 years.

A government-commissioned report last month was meant to bring clarity but with so many variables, not least predicting future electricity and oil prices and demographics, it ended up highly inconclusive.

It did however outline how high the stakes are.

Without nuclear power, the report said, Germany could forget about its target of reducing CO2 emissions by 80 percent in 2050 from 1990 levels.

Environmental pressure group Greenpeace heaped scorn on the report and accused Merkel of yielding to the powerful nuclear energy lobby, a charge echoed by an increasingly confident opposition.

"Ten or 15 years extension. That sounds harmless, but it's not," said Tobias Riedl, Greenpeace's nuclear energy expert, on Friday.

Another item in the mix is a debate over how to make energy companies such as RWE, Vattenfall and E.ON pay for the extension of their plants and ensure a greater contribution to Germany's energy output from renewable sources.

As part of an 80-billion-euro austerity programme for the period 2011 to 2014, Berlin wants to tap energy firms for 2.3 billion euros per year, a quid pro quo for keeping their plants open for longer.

But the utility companies are putting all their considerable lobbying powers into resisting such a levy and the nuclear tax was not in the austerity package the cabinet approved Wednesday.

Merkel has a tricky legal scenario on her hands, as she needs to ensure any draft law would not be subject to approval in the Bundesrat upper house, where she lost her majority earlier this year.


 

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