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Austria is 100 percent nuclear-free via Renewable International

On 1 January 2015, Austria’s “ban” on imports of nuclear power went into effect as planned. The event has gone as unreported in the English-speaking world as was the original announcement.

On Twitter this morning, Stephen Tindale asked me a good question – did Austria go ahead with its “ban” on imports of nuclear power? The Austrians are easily the fiercest opponents of nuclear in the EU. In 1978 – a year before Three Mile Island – they voted in a referendum to prevent the country’s first nuclear plant from being switched on; construction had been completed. And this month, Austria also filed suit with the EU against British plans to provide special financial incentives for a new nuclear plant at Hinkley.

Now, the country is 100 percent nuclear free even in terms of imports. Because there were no reports on the event at all, I contacted the press spokesperson at Verbund, Austria’s largest utility and got the following response (my translation of the German):

Starting in 2015, there is an obligation in Austria to demonstrate the origin of electricity. The sale of the ENTSOE mix, which theoretically includes a share of nuclear power, is no longer possible. We therefore also only offer our industry customers electricity with a certificate of origin (which then does not even theoretically contain any nuclear power).

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