Dismantling nuke plants to cost €18 billion

Dismantling nuke plants to cost €18 billion
Photo: DPA
Just dismantling Germany’s nuclear power plants during the country’s phaseout from nuclear energy will cost power companies about €18 billion alone, according to a new study by a consulting firm.

The study by the Arthur D. Little firm, seen by newspaper Handelsblatt, comes after German energy companies have complained about the cost and complexity of the phaseout.

The government made the decision to phase out nuclear power by 2022 in the wake of the Japanese earthquake and nuclear disaster earlier this year. The country is aiming to move toward greener energy solutions.

The move has been controversial, with many opponents warning that it could lead to power shortages and higher prices for consumers. Another study has estimated that total costs to Germany from the phaseout could hit €250 billion over the next decade.

Eight reactors have already been shut down throughout the country, with nine more slated to be turned off over the next 11 years.

Decommissioning a nuclear reactor is risky and complex. Engineers have to ensure that radioactive materials don’t escape the area, and constant monitoring has to continue afterwards.

According to Handelsblatt, the decommissioning process is estimated to cost between €670 million to €1.2 billion per plant. Even more could be necessary in order to store waste materials.

An expert with Arthur D. Little emphasized the enormity of the task as well as the potential for temporary electricity shortages – challenges he said should not be underestimated.

“The nuclear phaseout in Germany presents the utilities and service providers with a difficult task,” said consultant Michael Kruse.

The Local/mdm

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