ii) Even if Merkel had approved the construction of new nuclear power stations early in her chancellorship, they probably wouldn’t have yet come on stream.
iii) The Greens have been a minor/fairly minor force in German politics throughout the last forty years.
iii) Many Germans turned against nuclear firstly to oppose the stationing of US nuclear missiles in their country, and then Chernobyl occurred. More recently, the Fukushima accident again increased German opposition to nuclear.
Nevertheless, despite the above, it was rather trusting to have commissioned Nordstream 2…
The Greens vociferous and influential protests started over forty years ago, I remember them. One way or the other it was a strategic screw up and our angelic Greens have some part of that burden to bear IMO.
They were vociferous, but not necessarily that influential in the beginning because they didn’t have any power in the Bundestag. Also, one didn’t have to be a Green to be concerned about cruise missiles stationed on German soil or the possibility of another Chernobyl. If I remember correctly Cumbrian sheep farmers were not allowed to sell their lamb that year beacause of radioactive rain that fell on the fells a couple of days after the incident.
Unlike its western neighbours, Germany doesn’t have much coast and so windpower is not such a bonus. Incidentally, their spent nucear fuel is shipped to Sellafied for Vitrified Residue processing and then shipped back again. What could possibly go wrong?
When I was head of an Environmental Arts MA, I had several surprisingly open and informative interviews with the Nuclear Decommissioning Agency, and learned a huge amount about this process, the problems of safely storing nuclear waste for millennia and the unexpected deviations from the plans that they have encountered when custom designing robots to dismantle nuclear installations.
The realistic costs of decommissionng a nuclear power station, cleaning the site and safely storing the spent fuel is never included in the building estimates. Nuclear power doesn’t have a good history. And that’s before mentioning the deteriorating conditions in aging Soviet-era Bulgarian nuclear power plants. Scary stuff!
Well, venal as it may be, I can live with a potential problem in several millennia (it gives us a bit of headroom to find a solution) in return for an energy solution now but maschinenstürmerin ruled OK. The issue for me was/is regulation and enforcement.
Meanwhile I’m very happy with the French nuclear programme. Sure fusion is just around the corner, then we can get rid of all those ugly wind turbines which blight the countryside.
Not thiers. It’s I think a CND slogan that has been translated into many languages. For example, I remember ‘Ynni Niwcliar? Dim Diolch’ from the early 80’s when I lived in Wales. Same badge picture too.
Edit: Just looked it up because I wondered if it was CND. It was actually done by a Danish climate activist called Anne Lund in 1975.
The English version used to hang proudly in the main square in Stevenage town centre during student events in the early 1980s.
The local trustifarians standing under said banner weren’t pleased when I pointed out that Stevenage and its environs were undoubtedly on the Soviet’s strategic target list and would be glowing craters PDQ if WW3 kicked off due to their being 2 separate British Aerospace factories in the town and several Territorial Army units in the area including 21 SAS.
German here - we have always been suspicious of nuclear power (either as a weapon or for peaceful energy production)
Living near a US missile base was a total NO NO - the feeling of not having any say over firing those missiles and being in the middle of a cold war power struggle was not conculsive to loving nucelar power.
AND THEN CHERNOBYL happened - not quite as dramatic as a nuclear war! BUT - the radioactive cloud moving over Germany, being told to stay indoors til it passed, digging up perfectly good food because of possible contamination (my grandpa was raging) and for years a column in your daily paper which foods were contaminated and which were safe for your children to eat.
AND THEN FUKOSHIMA happened - Mrs. Merkel had no choice. Germans have a long memory and this nuclear accident just re inforced all the bad memories.
I have been a supported of the Green Party for years - but also would like a safe form of nuclear power generation. But is there one?
From what I was told by the Nuclear Decommissioning Agency’s press officer, they estimate 10,000 years for the dirtiest nuclear waste. The reprocessed 'vitreous material is nuclear waste collected by robots and fired into metre high rods of glass that are then enclosed in thick stainless steel cylinders and stored deep underground on the Cumbrian coast in a site that is cooled by wind off the Irish Sea. The site has been designed to continue functioning without electricity, so that even if civilisation collapses, the nuclear waste will still be ‘safe’.
For the second time in this thread, I ask, what could possibly go wrong?