As per press reports (The Hindu, May 16, 2012) you told Parliament on Wednesday, May 16, that Germany, which has announced it will close down all its nuclear plants by 2022, bought electricity from France, a country that relies heavily on atomic energy.

According to the transcript on the Lok Sabha website, these are your exact words: “In Germany also, question marks have been raised about the nuclear power [sic], but Germany relies on France, for example, France has a large number of nuclear power plants.”

But this is just the opposite of the truth because since 2004, France has always been a net importer of electricity from Germany. The quantity of electricity purchased by France from Germany every year has been between the equivalent production of one or two nuclear reactors: 2004: 8.7 TWh; 2005: 9.6 TWh; 2006: 5.6 TWh; 2007: 8.2 TWh; 2008: 12.6 TWh; 2009: 11.9 TWh; 2010: 6.7 TWh (1 TWh is equal to 1000000 MWh)

You can find this information here: And you can further verify the information from the original source (RTE, the French government-owned power distribution company) in the links quoted in the article.

Please note that although some sources in the previous French government had predicted that Germany would start becoming a net importer of electricity from France after they decided in 2011 to shut down in a planned manner their oldest nuclear plants, this prediction did not happen. And during the last winter, Germany was not only self-sufficient after closing eight nuclear reactors, but was even able to help “Atomic France.”

Dear Prime Minister, I don't know from where you get your information on nuclear energy. I know that you are too busy to check the facts yourself. But given the need for you to take wise decisions on this issue, which is so crucial, not only for the economy but for the future of all of us on this earth, I hope your advisers don't let you down again.

(The author is an architect and engineer who lives in Kolkata. E-mail:

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