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[cdn-nucl-l] German nuclear phase-out
Thursday June 8, 11:06 am Eastern Time
Germany, utilities agree nuke exit, no date -draft
(UPDATE: Adds quotes from document, background)
BERLIN, June 8 (Reuters) - The German government and utilities have agreed
on the broad framework of a deal to phase out nuclear power, but have yet to
agree the key issue of when to shut down the last plant, a draft of the deal
obtained by Reuters on Thursday showed.
The document, which agrees to end the reprocessing of nuclear waste by July
1, 2005, has no answer to the thorny question of when to close the last of
Germany's nuclear power stations. But it says any timetable for their future
lifespan will start counting from January 1, 2000.
The government is pushing for a 30-year deadline for the final plant
shutdown, while the power industry wants 35 years.
Germany has 19 operating nuclear power plants producing about 30 percent of
the country's electricity.
``The utilities respect the decision of the government to end the use of
nuclear power in a regulated way even through they have a different opinion
of the matter,'' the text reads.
``The government and the utilities agree that this agreement and its
fulfillment will not lead to damages claims.''
Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and the chief executives of Germany's four
leading power companies RWE , Veba and Energie Baden-Wuerttemberg will hold
talks to approve the deal on Wednesday next week, sources close to the
discussions told Reuters.
The draft was ready in mid-April, sources said, but has been delayed over
disagreements on the fate of the Muelheim-Kaerlich plant, which was
mothballed in 1988 as an earthquake security measure after being in service
for just 13 months.
Germany's coalition government of Social Democrats and environmentalist
Greens, who have been the driving force behind the measure to phase out
nuclear power, had hoped for a deal by this summer.