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Germany's Great Green Meltdown
Germany Nixes Support for Nuclear Exports

First Germany decided to phase out nuclear reactors at home; now it’s discouraging their use abroad. Reuters reports that the country is discontinuing credit guarantees to German exporters and banks that sell nuclear reactor equipment in risky foreign markets. Without that guarantee, exports are likely to go down. More:

For years, critics have called for a halt to Germany’s so-called Hermes guarantees for nuclear exports, such as those used in atomic plants in Brazil. China and India also want new nuclear plants to help fulfill their energy needs.

Germany has moved away from nuclear energy because it is linked to significant, uncontrollable risks. These risks exist in equal measure abroad,” Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel said.

When Germany abandoned nuclear, a zero-emissions energy source, it became more reliant on coal and saw its emissions shoot up. For a country like Japan, which has a much more volcanically and seismically active landscape, this tradeoff might be worth it. But in Germany, the safety case against nuclear looks a lot weaker: It doesn’t lie along any major fault lines.

The same is true for many of the current and potential customers of German nuclear technology and know-how. And many of those countries are developing rapidly and desperately need an effectively zero-emissions energy source like nuclear. Safety will always be a factor, but nuclear remains an important part of a robust green energy mix.

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