The project was based on the agreement between the German Federal Government and the biggest electric industry players in Germany of 14 June 2000 on a nuclear phase-out in Germany. It was initiated by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) and the multi-service trade union ver.di. The project team lead by the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW), and further consisting of the Bremen Energie Institut (BEI), the Institute for Work and Technology (IAT) and the Wuppertal Institute estimated the future development of employment in the German nuclear industry and analysed the chances and limits for alternative employment possibilities at the nuclear power plant sites. Based on this, concepts, instruments and measures were proposed aiming at securing employment and creating new jobs and clarifying the action possibilities and limits of the different actors.
The Federal Government and the operators of the nuclear power plants are particularly responsible for the employees working at the plants (employees of the operators, but also employees of contractors, suppliers, etc.) and for the economic development of the regions, in which the plants are sited. In chapter 6 of the above named agreement, both parties agreed to secure employment in Germany as much as possible by investments in new power generation capacities and in energy services. Further options to act are open to contractors and suppliers involved in the nuclear business, workers' councils and trade unions, local authorities, other local companies, associations and employment agencies (labour administrations) in the respective regions.
The study concludes that in total, the structural transition process towards a sustainable energy system will not lead to negative employment effects, but will rather have noticeable positive effects on employment, while at the same time contributing to other important societal goals. The implementation of energy policy concepts and concrete measures in the regions where the nuclear power plants are sited could exemplify the structural change.
Since decommissioning plans are plans for the medium-term and the long-term, an anticipatory, preventative regional and industrial policy (economic policy) for securing employment and creating new jobs is possible. This chance should be seized. The study aims at releasing a pulse towards such a development.