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Nuclear energy : export stop for German fuel elements will be tested

visited As environment Minister, Svenja Schulze (SPD) recently, the planned final Repository Schacht Konrad, could give rise to the impression, it will slowly force the atom. It will now go to the last, inevitable step in the processing of nuclear power, she said.

However, a point of contention remains: the Export of produced in Germany is fuel in the EU-member States. On Wednesday environment Secretary of state Jochen Flasbarth stated that the Minister of the environment intends to explore the possibility of an export stop for fuel elements in the case of the EU-Commission.

Flasbarth said so just two days before the for the today, Friday, the expected decision of the Bundesrat on an application of several of the lander to the fuel Export. In it, Baden-Württemberg, North Rhine-Westphalia, Saarland and Rhineland-Palatinate, the German Federal Minister for the environment (BMU), a EU-law compliant Option to prevent such exports.

The Federal environment Ministry announced on Wednesday that currently, between Federal departments to examine how a use of nuclear fuel from German production in power plants with questionable security can be excluded. Which had already been in the coalition agreement between the CDU and the SPD agreed.

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request "watered down"

Thorben Becker, a nuclear expert at the Federation for environment and nature conservation (BUND), that's not far enough. "We have to turn off the nuclear power plants in Germany, but produce the fuel. It also needs to go to the closure of these facilities. It's part of the nuclear phase-out,“ he told daily mirror Background.

The upcoming decision of the Federal Council, the environmental Institute of Munich, described on Thursday even as the "air number" and criticised the "dilution" of the original application. "In this respect, it is significantly sharper-standing request of Baden-württemberg, aiming at the Amendment of the atomic energy act, was already considered in the autumn due to uncertainty of majority back," says Philipp Bedall from the Institute for the environment. In the request, the country had demanded a stop of deliveries for nuclear power plants that are too close to the German border.

The Federal Ministry for the environment now goes the way of the city of Brussels, asks an opinion, under what boundary conditions, export restrictions are possible. The Ministry informed: "the subject of clarification by the EU-Commission should also examine the question, whether any export bans have to be based on concrete security concerns in a particular case, or whether General are the end of export bans, for example, having regard to the age of a plant, is permissible." Nuclear plants abroad, of their safety is doubted, not to be called by the BMU.

factory in Lingen

tensions around the Export of fuel elements blocked are already longer. Critics are calling for the stop of exports from the German fuel elements factory in Lingen nuclear power plants close to the German border.

it was Only in the past year, activists 122.000 collected signatures against the shipment of German spent fuel elements of nuclear reactors in Belgium. In January blocked opponents of nuclear power for several hours, the entrance to the factory, the nuclear power plants in several European countries. From the German nuclear phase-out, the system is exempt and may continue operations unabated.

In Germany, the Belgian reactor Doel 3 is made again and again in the headlines, most recently due to fine cracks in the pressure vessel. In 2016, the then Minister for the environment Barbara Hendricks (SPD) had asked Belgium, the reactors Tihange 2 and Doel 3 following the discovery of cracks to the clarification of safety issues, shut down. However, these reactors, critics see problems. "In reverse, we can not exclude with certainty that in other European plants, a failure occurs," says Becker.

picks Up an EU-compliant regulation, the Export in cross-border nuclear power plants. The Federal environment Ministry announced on Wednesday that the Federal office of Economics and export control "is expected to approve shortly," the export of 60 fuel elements in the Belgian reactors Doel 1 and Doel 2, as well as the 24 fuel elements at the NPP Cattenom in France.

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Matthias Jauch

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