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14 6, 4:41pm
"In Germany the main issue as far as I can see is that left-wing politicians in your country shut down fully functional nuclear plants prematurely, instead of letting them continue to produce power for their designed operating life for a more gradual phase-out."
Oh no you got that wrong. The left winged government under Gerhard Schröder in the late 90's-early to early 2000's did decide on plans to leave nuclear power, but that was to happen within several years. It was the conservative Government under Angela Merkel that boxed that plan and prelonged support for nuclear power again. But then they suddenly decided to leave nuclear power after all in wake of the Japanese accident. They did so prematurely and under breech of contract with the Energy companies, which rightfully did sue for it (I hate having to talk positively about anything Gerhard Schröder ever did, but he wasn't the one to mess this one up. I'm also not sure if the Angela Merkel government had to be considered centrist or right winged, so I just went with the genral "conservative" moniker since at least that is undebatable).
In the case of my state the high energy prices have other reasons. We went full into Wind energy since our state is ideal for that. We do produce more then we need as well, but can't export the surplus to other states since the infrastructure doesn't exist leading us to sit on needless costs due to other states being behind on schedule.
As far as I'm aware the newer reactor ideas you mentioned don't really solve the issue though. They can further make use of waste that older reactors can't make use of anymore, but the waste wouldn't vanish, and after the newer reactors make use of them as good as they can it's still radioactive waste.