With the recent concerns in Japan over nuclear power hazards, many around the world are questioning the use of nuclear energy. Some ask if the benefits outweigh the costs while others just question the precautions necessary when using nuclear energy. Of the questions asked, Germany has an answer. Don't use nuclear energy at all.
"The world's fourth-largest economy stands alone among leading industrialized nations in its decision to stop using nuclear energy because of its inherent risks." This quote highlighted in the article, points to the main fact that such a dominant figure in the economy is taking a huge step in completely ridding the country of nuclear energy altogether. Germany is the only leader who not only started a plan to transition from nuclear energy but is now increasing the speed at which that plan is in place. The goal for Germany was to have no reliance on nuclear energy within the next 25 years, but with the new disasters occurring in Japan, Germany does not want to be the next on the hit list.
Germany has started safety checks on many of its current reactors and this move has initiated the start of the weaning process. The country currently has 23% of its energy coming from nuclear power and the government wants this amount to decrease and give way for more renewable energy dependence. The fear of radiation and other risks associated with the reactors is a major push from the citizens as well as many government officials.
This transition will cost billions of dollars over the years but the hope is that it will not only reduce the risks associated with nuclear energy but also move the country in a more positive direction. Increased reliance on renewable energy will make the economy of Germany more competitive and possibly bring more jobs and industry opportunities into the country. The future will only tell how successful this new move will be for Germany and if anyone else will follow their lead.