Open letter to German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on nuclear energy

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Published on 18/04/2023

On April 15, Germany prematurely shut down the last three of its nuclear reactors. In response, Nobel laureates and leading scientists from around the world urgently appealed to German Chancellor Olaf Scholz to reconsider the decision.

Among the signatories to the appeal in France were climatologists François-Marie Bréon, a researcher at the IPSL Climate and Environmental Sciences Laboratory, and Didier Roche, a research director at the CNRS.

The letter was also signed by Nobel prize laureates Klaus von Klitzing and Steven Chu, as well as esteemed climatologists James Hansen (NASA and Columbia University) and Kerry Emanuel (MIT), and planetary scientist Carolyn Porco (University of Colorado Boulder), among others.

The call was coordinated by RePlanet D-A-CH, a member of the RePlanet alliance in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. The letter emphasizes the crucial role of the three now-closed German nuclear power plants, Emsland, Isar II, and Neckarwestheim II, in reducing CO2 emissions linked to electricity production. Together, these plants generated enough low-carbon electricity to power over 10 million German households, or a quarter of the country’s total.

It’s worth noting that the closure of these facilities was not due to technical or security issues, but was instead a result of Germany’s “nuclear exit” policy, which began in 2000 and led to the dismantling of 20 nuclear reactors. This move marks the end of nuclear power in Germany, at least for the time being.

The letter has been widely covered by international media outlets, including the New York Times (USA) and (Poland). The full text of the letter can be found here.