First quarter of 1999

Statement of German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder after the first round of the nuclear consensus talks, transmitted by the Secretariat of the Chancellor on 26 January 1999

Translated by WISE-Paris, 27 January 1999

[Posted 27/01/1999]

Chancellor Schroeder:
"I give you five brief points on which we reached an agreement and which have to be worked out further by a working group. We have also agreed on holding our next talks in the first half of March.

In respect of the five points:

The aim of an orderly termination of the use of nuclear energy is accepted by the electricity utilities which have conceded the primacy of politics. I have to convey this here. Mr Timm is certainly going to comment on this.

Until we have reached the aim on the basis of a consensus arrangement on remaining operational periods (Restlaufzeiten), the operation of existing plants has to be secured. It is important for me to make clear here that the point is to fix the remaining operational periods on the basis of a consensus arrangement.

The reprocessing ban is accepted by the electricity utilities. However, it can only be realised without indemnity if, until the ban comes into force, the interim storage at the nuclear plant sites for the period of remaining operational periods, which remain to be negotiated, has been technically put into effect as a spent fuel management option and authorised - as far as the Federal Government can influence it - so that, for example, third party objections can be addressed through order of immediate implementation [of the plan] so that construction can be started. Thus we want to get this new spent fuel management scheme underway as soon as possible. That is meant by the expression 'court-proof', as far as we have influence on it.

After putting into effect this spent fuel management scheme, the energy utilities are going to make use of all contractually foreseen possibilities towards their international partners, especially in France and in the United Kingdom, to come to an end of reprocessing. This is important to us also because of the international implications. We want to carry out this aspect too together with the energy utilities.

The details are going to be agreed upon now and will be further dealt with, and coordinated, in the working group. Then they will be available to us at the beginning of March. (That is) obviously the main issue for the utilities. The period necessary to end reprocessing will be adapted correspondingly. This applies naturally to the amendment to the nuclear law which we present. We simply have to see here that there is a close correlation between the objective possibility of ending reprocessing and creating interim storage facilities at the nuclear power plants so that these installations can be operated during the remaining operational periods, still to be [fully] negotiated."

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