Q.: What is the difference between the nuclear power lobby and the German government?
A.: There is none.

Some days ago I said the nuclear power lobby would blackmail the government into the extension. I have to correct this, there is no need to blackmail the government, they bent over backwards to pamper them anyway.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition government has decided to extend the lifespan of the country's nuclear power plants. Opposition parties and environmentalists are firmly against the changes.

Germany's coalition government has agreed to extend the lifetime of the country's nuclear power stations.

"There will be a staggered extension of the lifespans," press agency Reuters reported an unnamed government official as saying on Sunday evening.

The official said plants would fall into two separate groups, based on the year that they were built, to determine their closure dates.
According to the German news agency dpa, the planned changes would mean that newer reactors built after 1980 would stay open for 14 years longer than originally planned under the government of former chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.

Older plants would be kept open for an additional eight years. Environment Minister Norbert Roettgen and Economy Minister Rainer Bruederle confirmed later on Sunday evening that the extension had been agreed upon.

The coalition also agreed to an annual 2.3 billion euro ($3 billion) tax on energy suppliers who use nuclear fuel rods to generate power. However, the tax will be limited to a six-year period following objections from industry bosses.

The negotiations, which lasted 10 hours, came amid a long-running row about extending the lifespan of the country's nuclear power plants.

Hundreds of demonstrators rallied outside the chancellery where German Chancellor Angela Merkel was meeting with fellow coalition leaders Guido Westerwelle of the Free Democrats (FDP) and Horst Seehofer of Bavaria's Christian Social Union, along with other parliamentary leaders.

Demanding an end to nuclear power, some of the demonstrators carried banners saying, "Nuclear power: Only the risk is secured."

Sunday's meeting focused on granting the country's nuclear power plants an extra 10 to 15 years of production time and to decide on a levy for the utility companies' expected additional profits.

Schroeder's government decided in 2000 to shut down all nuclear plants by 2021. Merkel wants to extend that deadline by 10 or 15 years as a stop-gap measure until renewable energy sources are more developed. She has called the extension a "bridge."

Opposition vows to resist plans

A government-commissioned report last week said without nuclear power, Germany can forget its target of reducing CO2 emissions by 80 percent of 1990 levels in 2050.

The opposition and environmental groups have criticized the report as proof of Merkel's conservative Christian Democratic Party (CDU) caving in to the country's powerful nuclear lobby.

"The German government is reviving one of the biggest social conflicts in Germany for no reason," Sigmar Gabriel, head of the opposition Social Democratic Party (SPD) said on the sidelines of the anti-nuclear power demonstration in Berlin on Sunday.

Surveys show that most Germans favour an end to nuclear power generation. Germany has 17 active nuclear reactors, which account for 22.6 percent of the electricity generated in the country.

Settling of differences

Roettgen, from the CDU, said last week he wanted to limit the extension to eight years. Bruederle, from the pro-business FDP, favored an extension of up to 20 years.

The center-right coalition no longer has a majority in the Bundesrat, Germany's upper house of parliament, so ratification of the proposals would be difficult. The coalition has hinted at the solution of bypassing the Bundesrat entirely, prompting anger from state governments which are represented in the house.

And it's not as if nuclear energy would have any use in Germany. The article says it produces more than 20 percent. But Germany produces way more energy than is used, and the surplus is sold mainly to France.

And when 7 of the 17 plants fail, it has absolutely NO effect on the energy supply in Germany, as this article shows:
Nuclear Power Fails, And Nobody Notices.

So, for what do they need to lower the safety laws - including limitation of ways to sue them for damage they cause on people's lives - in exchange for the extension of this shit's lifespan? Does anyone believe that they would keep the "promise" to pay "voluntary" into some fond? In exchange for old plants only to be "maintained with care" (WTF???) and the newer also lowered in safety standards, which of course will save them some more billions. And Merkel and the CDU even plans to attempt to push this "contract" through bypassing the upper House (Bundesrat), because there they do not possess a majority. More disgusting details here (in German)

Germany is led by corrupt criminals who give a shit about the people, and even less about next generations