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tv   Journal  PBS  May 30, 2011 6:30pm-7:00pm PDT

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>> you're watching "the journal" here on dwtv. here are the headlines this hour. pulling the plug. germany said it will give up nuclear energy within a decade. german troops in afghanistan honor their fallen comrades killed in a taliban suicide bombing. and germany gears up for its nexturo qualifier with victory over uruguay. and germany, the days of nuclear power plants are numbered. the government says it will shut down all of the country's nuclear power reactors by the year 2022. it makes germany the first industrialized country to take this step and it is a startling
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turnaround in policy. just a year ago, berlin was planning on extending the lives of its nuclear reactors. >> it won't be easy but chancellor merkel said transition to nuclear energy is possible and could help germany stay ahead of its competitors. translator: we believe our country can become a leader in harolding the era of renewable energy. we could be one of the first industrial nations to make the sbitch to highly efficient renewable energy. that brings with it new opportunities for exports, developments, technology and for creating new jobs. >> earlier a panel appointed by the chancellor presented its proposals for nuclear power generation. it has recommended shutting down all of the country's nuclear plants been ten years. merkel's government proposes a complete phase out of germany's nuclear stations by 2022. eight are already offline. seven of them since the nuclear
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crisis in japan. opposition parties are now deliberating the move, which represents a big u-turn for angela merkel. translator: today our political opponents have been forced to accept nuclear phase-out policy. which we initiated ten years ago and which chancellor merkel had revoked. >> the social democrats and greens have not expressed outright support for the proposal but its passage through the bundes tog is likely. >> what about reaction abroad, especially here in europe? we talked about that with our brussels competent jeff mead. >> a bit of a surprise, particularly in brussels. in some capitals they're talking about the commercial fallout, what will it mean for neighbor countries? what does it mean for energy flows in countries across grids.
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in brussels more directly, european commission, they are saying obviously germany is entitled to do what it likes when it likes. however, the first question being raised tonight is what will happen to co2 reduction targets at european level. obviously germany is an integral part of energy plans to cut co2 output 20% by 2020 at the moment. and the commission is pointing out that, that will be more difficult and that is the primary concern in brussels. >> all right. jeff mead there reporting from brussels. well, there's concern that a nuclear switch-off could lead to an increase in greenhouse gas emissions. come as new figures show output of carbon dioxide is already higher than it's ever been before. the international energy agency released figures monday that show 30.6 billion tons of co 2 were emitted in 2010. that's 1.6 billion tons more than in the previous year. the agency says the increase is
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a serious setback to hopes of limiting global temperature rise to 2 degrees crellsousy the year 2020. and germany's political decision to end nuclear power was not a welcome decision amongst business folks. >> that's right. not at all. it is really just here in germany, like the southern decision in germany's industrial lobby picked a title said nuclear exit will push out prices and make them oil dependant on gas. but the government said are you resources will be key to making the transition. the german government wants to increase green energy to 30% by 2020. right now hydrogen power and other power counts for 27% of power fly. i talked to an expert on the german institute for research and asked her whether we newable ex -- exports can plug the gap.
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>> we, yes can double the share by the next ten years and come up to a share of 35%. this is exactly the amount of the nuclear energy producing at the moment. this is feasible but the question remaining what is about the rest because we're still producing a large share of coal power plants. this needs to be renulls. gas will be the better alternative. >> what will be the consequence for german energy companies? >> yeah. they will increase -- there will be an increase of competition for sure because small and medium-size companies will also join the market and they will fill the gap and they will invest in infrastructure and grids and new power plants and this is where the energy companies the big four needs to phase, whether they are able to share the change or where we go at the end. >> you already mentioned coal. with nuclear power plants slated to be switched off in 10, 11
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years, will coal make a comeback possibly in germany? >> looks like this unfortunately, i have to say. with this the emissions will increase as well. and we already have a very high share of coal, 42% of electricity production. it's not a good idea to increase the share of coal at the moment, but gas would be better alternative gas, power plants because they are more flexible and can be better combined with renewable energy. >> while the nuclear phase out hit the shares of germany energy companies on what was otherwise a pretty slow day in frankfurt. here's our market report. >> they have seen low volume here's due to the bank holiday in london and as well as memorial day in the united states. on the daily basis, the stocks have posted very, very small loss. this was not the case with shares of r.w.e. and ian. both shares moved sharply lowers
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from details on the new energy concept of the german government above the fact all of the nuclear fuel attacks has moved shares a lot lower because investors earlier on were betting that those special taxes will be scrapped and in addition analysts have been saying that now they're looking for downward revision for the profit guidance of r.w.e. and aeon and this is actually something additional which is weighing on those shares. >> so let's have a look at the market numbers, starting with blue chips in frankfurt, germany's benchmark. banks closing slightly lower at 7,160. stepping .2% slipping and dollar is at 1 euro 2.79. brett will be back with an in depth look at what the nuclear phase out will mean for germany. moving on, russia said it will
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lift its ban on grange exports starting july 1. kremlin said the market stabilized. ban was introduced last year after a heat wave and drought has september prices surging. >> russia was one of the world's biggest grain exporters before introduced in export ban last summer. the severe drought and heat wave cut the country's glain har vert by almost 40%, leading to fears of domestic shortages. stocks being replenished russian grain will return to global markets july 1. russian prime minister vladimir putin made the decision during a meeting with his deputy. he said the price of wheat tumbled by almost 5%. wheat prices soared after the ban was announced last year, pushing up food prices worldwide. last week we surged to 250 euros a ton, amid-fears of drought in europe and the u.s. the bad weather means traders
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are maintaining a caution outlook, despite the lifting of the russian ban. white prices are likely to remain high. the e. coli outbreak in europe which killed 14 so far is hitting the business of german farmers hard. consumers boycotting sellers of tomatoes, couple cumber. the sellers are believed to have come from spain and many fruit and convenient tabble producers are there having to throw away their stock. >> these combumebers are ripe and just harvested and ready to be packed into transport into boxes to german supermarkets but are being thrown away. not because they're substandard but because demand has tumbled. the e. coli outbreak warned the public against eating tomatoes, cucumbers and lettuce. as a result consumers are no longer buying them due to health concerns. but it's not just spanish producers feeling the pinch,
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german farmerers have also been hit by the kwon sumer scare. farmers say demand for their produce has plummeted by 70% to 80%. translator: the problem is the harvest is in full swing but sales are not likely to pick up again in the coming weeks. unless someone convince the public that it is safe to eat fruit and vegetables. if not, we will be in serious trouble. >> vegetable farmers in spain already are in serious trouble. awe though scientists have not been able to say exactly how the couple cumbers became contaminated. spain is considering claiming damages over germany over the issue. >> i thank you very much. >> a violent crackdown by security forces on anti-government demonstrators in yemen shows no sign of abating. and verified video footage shows sporadic gunfire in a city where forces loyal to president al
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salehia broke up a 4-month-old protest camp sunday. witnesses there say witnesses set fire to the camp and unconformed reports indicate 20 protesters were shot dead in the operation. south africa's president has flown to libya to talks with muammar qaddafi and another attempt by the african union to end the unrest in libya. zuma is due to mediate talks between the rebels and qaddafi, who has not been seen in public for over two weeks now. observers have given this latest effort little chance of success. rebels insist qaddafi must quit before a truce can be agreed upon. taliban suicide bombers killed five afghans on monday in the western city her ott. it is a joke to the nofingse security there. the area around has been labletted safe enough for the government to take control from nato but it seems that thinking may be premature. on monday international troops
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paid tribute to soldiers killed in another attack over the weekend. >> the germanyen soldiers in afghanistan observed a moment of silence for their fallen comrades. led about a single drummer, a guard of honor accompanied the soldiers' coffins to a plane for transport back to germany. american, norwegian and hung gar yain troops saluted as the soldier gansz their final germany. the german foreign minister is visiting india. he said the killings underscored the dangers the troops are exposed to. translator: i'm very concerned about the safety of our women and men who are serving in afghanistan. i'm also very worried because the incident shows there's still a lot of work ahead of us to complete the task of transferring responsibility for security to the afghan authorities. nevertheless, i still believe in that process. and i believe it remains a necessity.
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our troops have been in afghanistan almost ten years but they should not remain there for another ten. >> but the bundes fair mission may continue for longer than planned. on mooned five people were killed on an attack on an italian base in iraq. it's another sign insurgents are pushing ahead with their summer campaign of violence. >> the italian prime minister silvio bur luss coney has suffered a seeming defeat in local elections. his candidates lost in naples and even home city of milan where a center left candidate won the vote for the position of mayor. the elections are widely seen as a test vote for bur luss coney -- berlusconi, called up for a number of sex scandals. a general election is likely now likely. the former bosnian serb commander rochester appealed --
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ratko mladic appealed his extraa to the hague. he's arrested after 16 years on the run and accused of master minding atrocities committed during the bosnian war in the 1990's. soccer news now, fifa president sepp blatter has spoken to the press for the first stinals an ethics committee exonerated him for many wrongdoing in connection with bribery allegations. blatter said great damage has been done to the sport of soccer by the allegations against him and two other top fifa officials. but he denies that the organization is experiencing a crisis. >> crisis, what is a crisis? if somebody described to me what the crisis is, i would answer. football is not in a crisis whfment you have seen the match, the final match of the champions' league, then you must
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applaud and you will see what the game is, what the fair play on the game, good control of the game. we are not in a crisis. we are only in some difficulties and this difficulty will be solved, will be solved inside our family. >> all right. sepp blatter speaking there. more soccer news, germany beat uruguay 2-1 in an international friendly sunday night. the match was considered a warmup for the squad's upcoming euro 2012 qualifiers against austria and either beijing. >> germany's team coach was happy to accept the congratulations of israel's prime minister that varows. germany played a solid game against a tough opponent and won, something they have not done in a friendly in almost a year. getting the lead in the 20th minute was mario gomez, who basically beat out half of the uruguayen defense before scoring for the 1-0 lead. gomez, who played for munich, is
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scoring both regularly for club and country and looks like a sure bet to be a starter in the upcoming european championship qualifiers. another hot candidate for starting position is andre shirloff would, who scores 15 minutes later. and that's how it stood at halftime. the back four was sloppy in letting uruguay's goal in the 48th minute. fortunately for germany its next opponent, austria, doesn't have the quality of uruguay, which finished fourth at the last world cup. >> residents of an australian coastal town were stunned to witness a series of waterspouts blasting across the ocean close to shore. the national phenomena happened near the town of teri gall, 45 kilometers north of sydney. waterspouts take place when they form over warm ocean currents. it reached heights of up to 600 meters. stick with us. be right back with the in depth report coming up in one minute.
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stay tuned.
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>> welcome back, everyone. the german government announced that by 2022 the country will end its yenration of nuclear power. huge step for highly industrialized country by germany. especially since just last year, chancellor angel merkel's coalition government decided to extend the life of the country's nuclear reactors. but that was all before fukushima. public fear of a nuclear disaster here has impacted regional elections bolstering the green party and threatening the chancellor's ruin -- ruling coalition. the chancellor's crisis created a crisis in the heart of berlin. >> we have this report. >> it was the disaster at fukushima that had a radical
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change of heart in the german government. chancellor merkel long argued germany needed nuclear power for four decades, during the transition for a more sustainable, environmentally friendly list of forces, including fukushima. >> we cannot carry on as if it were business as usual and take as the basis of future decisions the so far undisputed safety of the own nuclear facilities. the latest events mean we have to stop for a moment and reconsider. >> the government took the country's seven oldest nuclear power plants offline for three months. ordered safety tests on all 17 and established an ethics commission share chaired by former environment mission claus tupford. all political parties want to phase out clear power seftly. only the power generators want to slow the pace. translator: this cannot be about speeding up the end of nuclear power or curtailing its use in
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the interim. >> but that motion will not prevail. the ethics commission recommended the government said a date for the time shutdown of the country's nuclear plant so utility companies can work towards it. translator: in our report we mentioned several times the possibility of phasing out nuclear power before the final date. but we have left no possibility of drying it out beyond the deadline, tpwhaws would make companies less certain about investing in alternatives. >> nuclear plants still operating would be shut down over the coming decade. during that period more wind farms would be built, grid upgraded and energy-saving measured implemented. the government wants the relevant legislation passed with unmatched speed by mid--july. just four months after the disaster at fukushima. >> germany is a world leader in
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green technology, especially for renewable energy. now, the government's decision will give a big boost to that sector. at the same time germany has to ensure that all nuclear reactors be decommissioned by 2022 are dismantled and safe lir decontaminated. this is a highly costly and risky task and it could last until the end of this century. we take a look the one reactor built in former east germany back in 1973 where the work to put it to rest still goes on. >> communist east germany was proud of its nuclear power plant on the baltic coast. the plant was closed after germanyen reunification. for 20 years now a huge project has been under way to demolish the plant and read the site. he was involved since the beginning. he started as an apprentice and now is in charge.
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>> we already knew how to take a reactor apart to repair it but had to dismantel the whole thing once it was shut down. remove every single part of the structure, how to process it and decontaminate it. we had to work all of that out four ourselves. we developed the technology to do it. >> now the team are experts indeed contaminating material that's have come into contact with radio activity. many elements of the old meeting plant cannot be processed right away. so up to 600,000 metric tons are kept at a temporary storage facility. 50 years have foos before these reactor pressure vessels can be broken up. what's left of the highly radioactive fuel rods demever be made safe. the government wants to see all of germany's 17 nuclear power plants taken offline by 2022.
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the operating companies say it will take almost a century to complete the demolition and renaturing of the sites. they set aside 40 billion euros to pay for that. >> with nuclear cleanup operations, you never know if it will be enough because you also have to consider the permanent storage of the fuel and that can be very expensive. >> work has cost 4 billion euros so far and it's going to be a long time before that work is finished. this man says the entire power plant has to be broken up into small piece that's will fit into plates like these. germany has seen huge demonstration against nuclear energy in the past. the fukushima zaftner japan once
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again brought people out on the streets including a new generation of nuclear energy opponents. young people in particular feel strongly about phasing out nuclear power but there are still plenty of students studying nuclear science. what are their thoughts on nuclear energy? we went to dresden's technical university to find out. >> with lab coats, shoe covers and geiger counters, stefan matisse's underclassmates are gearing up for another day in university in dresden, where they're studying nuclear power engineering. they work with a.k.r.-2, germany's newest training and research reactor. it doesn't generate electricity and it's not connected to the power grid. it's just here to help in the study program. >> we're going to ee rate aide this sheet of aluminum. we will fix it here and put it
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into the reactor up to the core, up to this mark. >> in the lab students rarely address ideological issues. no one here doubts the usefulness of nuclear power, even after fukushima. >> the accident does not make the plants more or less safe. they're the same plants they were before it happened. of course, it has reminded us of the residual risks. >> for these students, fukushima is a reason not to abandon nuclear power but to develop better plants. their professors sees it that way too. he says research must continue, eastbound if germany decommissions all the of its nuclear power plants. >> it's our dutey, for no other reason germany's neighbors are sticking with nuclear pear and even planning to expand its use. so if we want to be ability to
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talk to these partners as equals in the future about safety standards at nuclear facilities, it's important to carry on during research. >> even with the phase oust nuclear power looming in germany, there's no lack of applicants to study the course here in dresden. job prospects remain good. translator: even if the plants in germany are to be shut down by 2020, they still have to be decommissioned. so we're talking about 30 or 40 years. i could spend my entire working life doing that. >> for now, stefan and matisse are learning howo run nuclear power plants but in a few year's time, their job might change to shutting them down. >> and that has been our in depth report, nuclear power and consequences of on thing out. -- opting out.
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