Monday, May 12, 2014

The Bad Nukes Boys, a German nuclear dump found in Berlin govt. quarter?

As if the news this weekend out of Germany hadn't been weird enough, there was one more on Sunday.

The major nuclear power companies want the German government to take over the remaining nuclear power plants, run them until they go offline in 2020 and then dismantle them and store the waste.

Like the majority of Western nations, Germany has no long-term storage facility for nuclear fuel and related waste, so this suggestion that came under the heading "bad bank for nukes" would make good sense for the industry.

The industry has also been unhappy with being told to turn off the plants when the German government pulled the plug after Japan's Fukushima meltdown.
In the wake of this, the power players went to the regular courts and to the little known Washington based trade "court" to force the German government to undo this decision or to pay damages in the billions.

The "bad nukes" idea is a great carrot and stick venture. The carrot are the approximately 30 billion euros the companies have put on the side over decades to fulfill their legal mandate with regard to the shutdown and dismantling of old plants.

The stick is the collection of lawsuits pending against Berlin.

Of course, there has been an outcry condemning the bad nukes solution but, interestingly enough, some of the voices were rather muted, and the trade union of industry workers came out in favor of the proposition.

Given that the old coal mining industry in the Ruhr de-Industrial Area in fact did get a similar deal, we are not willing to discard the chances of success of the "bad nukes boys" in the future.

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