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    German official opposes extension of nuclear power plant lifetimes


    August 1, 2022 - dpa

     

      Berlin — The president of the German Federal Office for the Safety of Nuclear Waste Disposal, Wolfram König, rejects extended operating times for nuclear power plants in Germany.

      "Such an assessment would have to take into account not only the safety of the nuclear power plants, but also the disposal of radioactive waste," König writes in an article for the "Sunday edition of the newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

      "In both cases, the costs to society as a whole of continuing to operate the plants would be considerable," König pointed out. "The hard-won social consensus would also be fundamentally called into question."

      Due to the current energy crisis as a result of the Ukraine war, a debate has flared up about keeping at least the three nuclear power plants still connected to the grid running beyond the turn of the year. The current plan is to take them off the grid at the end of 2022.

      König also has considerable doubts about the timetable for finding a site for a nuclear waste repository in Germany. According to the law, a decision on a final repository site should be made by 2031, so that storage can begin in 2050.

      "My federal office has repeatedly urged the company in charge of the site search to make progress in the procedure so that the timetable set by law can be met. It will take another 20 years until the repository is ready for operation," König writes. "Today I have to state that I no longer consider the 2031 target to be realistic."

      ©2022 dpa GmbH. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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