The nuclear accident in Fukushima, Japan in March 2011 has rekindled a fundamental discussion about the risks and future use of nuclear power plants in Germany. In September 2010, the federal government decided to postpone the closure of the plants until 2036, twelve years later than previously decided. After the events in Japan, however, it declared a three-months moratorium and in June decided to shut down all nuclear plants by 2022. This decision will have significant economic consequences. In the short and medium term, renewable energy sources will hardly be able to replace the abandoned nuclear capacities. Currently, it is inevitable to increase the use of coal- and gas-fired power plants. This will raise the costs of producing electricity by 55 billion euros. Almost 90 percent of business environmental experts, therefore, expect that the accelerated shutdown will push up electricity prices.

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