The Federal government has agreed to an amendment of German energy law (Energiewirtschaftsgesetz) by which energy imports of so-called “dirty electricity” from foreign countries can be forbidden if they are being produced in power plants, especially “unsafe” nuclear power plants, which would not satisfy German licensing conditions. This will be implemented by using the fact that such imports, including “dumping” offers from Eastern European countries, have to be agreed by the Federal ministry for economics. At the same time the amendment forces German gas companies to open their pipes for gas transfer by third parties. The proposal survived the cabinet stage in spite of strong objections by the German utilities. Agreement by the German Bundestag is, in view of the majority situation, not in doubt. After ratification of the law the The Federal minister for Economics, Dr.Werner Müller, is to set up criteria in ordinances about which imports are admissible.

However the general public are not quite so fastidious on the subject of nuclear electricity. According to an opinion poll ordered by VDEW a significant majority – 70 per cent – of Germans support the continued operation of German nuclear power plants. Only 22 per cent voted for an immediate closing down of the plants.