On the occasion of the 47th Annual Meeting on Nuclear Technology (AMNT 2016), the President of the German Atomic Forum, Dr. Ralf Güldner, called for important joint decisions with policy-makers.
Güldner expressly welcomed the proposal made by the Commission on the Review of Financing the Nuclear Phase-out for a division of tasks into decommissioning and dismantling on the one hand, and interim and ultimate waste disposal on the other hand. He said that, unfortunately, the Commission had not successfully achieved the balance between securing financing in the interest of public authorities and imposing a financial burden on the companies. Güldner thanked the Commission members of the Commission Storage of High-Level Radioactive Waste Materials for the dedicated and thematically linked work. He said that clarification was needed before the final report for the question regarding the scope of involvement of social stakeholders in the final repository search process and the corresponding time required until a secure final repository is provided. According to Güldner, "It is also essential, in terms of a transparent and confidence-building search process, for host rocks and therefore also sites which may be considered for a final repository to be assessed according to consistent scientific criteria."
Güldner also stated that the nuclear fuel tax was no longer economically feasible given current electricity prices. Moreover, in the proceedings before the Federal Constitutional Court regarding the political phase-out decision, it was also about a question of legal certainty for long term investment in Germany as a business location. At the same time, Güldner stressed the priority on safety, "There will be no compromises on the safety of nuclear power plants. Plants will be rather shut-down prematurely if economic prospects cease to exist."
On Germany's future international role in nuclear technology, Güldner reminded the audience of the national responsibility for the energy mix. He called for "German expertise to be incorporated constructively for the purpose of further developing international safety standards", and he also stated, "We have extensive industrial expertise in our country and we set standards in safety. The state should therefore assist German industry with exporting." Güldner said that in view of the vital need to preserve expertise in nuclear technology in the long term, it would also be disastrous in Germany as a site of knowledge if nuclear professorships in publicly funded research centers and universities were not adequately filled or if limits were imposed on the scope of independent research.
AMNT 2016 | Opening Address, Dr. Ralf Güldner, Präsident DAtF