Year 1998

The Phase Out of Nuclear Power

Excerpt of the Coalition Agreement between the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) and the Green Party (Bündnis90/Die GRüNEN), Bonn, 20 October 1998

WISE-Paris, October 1998

[Posted October 1998]

The phase out of the use of nuclear power will be comprehensively and irreversibly regulated by law within this legislative period. Therefore the coalition parties agree on the following step-by-step procedure.

In a first step, as part of the 100-Day-Program, a first amendment of the Nuclear Law with the following content will be introduced:

Removal of the purpose of support [of nuclear energy by the Law];
Introduction of an obligation for a safety evaluation to be submitted within one year;
Clarification of the charge of proof regulation in the case of justified suspicion of danger;
Limitation of spent fuel management [Entsorgung] to direct final storage;
Annulment of the Nuclear Law Amendment of 1998 (with the exception of the transcription of EU law);
Increase of the contingency coverage.

In the second step the new federal government will invite the energy industry to talks to agree, if possible by consensus, on a new energy policy, on steps towards the termination of nuclear energy and on questions concerning nuclear waste management (Entsorgung). The new federal government fixes for itself a time frame of one year after taking office to achieve this.

As the third step, after that delay has passed, the coalition will introduce a law which would enforce the phase out of the use of nuclear energy without compensation; therefore the operating licenses will be limited in time. The proof of an available spent fuel management option [Entsorgungsnachweis] would be adjusted.
Concerning the waste management the coalition parties agree on the following:

The coalition parties agree that the current radioactive waste management concept has failed in its content and no longer has any factual basis. A national waste management plan for the inherited charge of the radioactive waste will be worked out.

For the final storage of all sorts of radioactive wastes a single final storage facility in deep geological formations is sufficient.

The timely orientation for the final storage of all sorts of radioactive waste is the final storage of highly radioactive wastes in about year 2030.

There are doubts over the suitability of the salt dome of Gorleben. Therefore the exploration shall be interrupted and other sites in various geological formations shall be studies as to their suitability. On the basis of a then following site comparison a potential site shall be selected.

The continued depositing of radioactive waste in Morsleben will be terminated. The licensing procedure will be limited to the shut down.

In principle each operator or a nuclear power plant has to create intermediate storage capacities [for spent fuel] on the power plant site or in the vicinity. Irradiated fuel may transported only if there are no licensed intermediate storage capacities at the power plant and this is not justifiable by the operator . The intermediate storage facilities will not be used for the purpose of final storage.

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