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M. Möhling

A funny turn--a guy from the Cato Institute thinks that Nuclear Energy [is a] Risky Business. Because it's too pricey, that is:

Nuclear energy is to the Right what solar energy is to the Left: Religious devotion in practice, a wonderful technology in theory, but an economic white elephant in fact (some crossovers on both sides notwithstanding). When the day comes that the electricity from solar or nuclear power plants is worth more than the costs associated with generating it, I will be as happy as the next Greenpeace member (in the case of the former) or MIT graduate (in the case of the latter) to support either technology. But that day is not on the horizon and government policies can't accelerate the economic clock.

...

There's nothing new about today's rhetoric about the supposed "nuclear renaissance." Back in 1954, GE maintained: "In five years-certainly within 10-a number of them (nuclear plants) will be operating at about the same cost as those using coal. They will be privately financed, built without government subsidy." Now, 54 years later, the talk of "renaissance" is back-as are promises about the imminent economic competitiveness of nuclear.

Those who favor nuclear power should adopt a policy of tough love. Getting this industry off the government dole would finally force it to innovate or die-at least in the United States. Welfare, after all, breeds sloth in both individual and corporate recipients. The Left's distrust of nuclear power is not a sufficient rationale for the Right's embrace of the same.

Those Neocons, ever coming up with new devious schemes. Anyway, there's shale gas aplenty almost everywhere. Let's see what schemes our green fiends come up with to counter that. Garden gnomes: Aaachtung!!

doppelfish

Orr, Alex, come on. We have twelve Kernreaktoren running happily, another three were partially built but never switched on. And we have no Endlager yet (the Asse is leaky and, like Gorleben, only a temporary solution). How's that for a gamble?

daniela

@m.möhling, your inner garden gnome may have decreed that nuclear energy is not Aryan and therefore to be rejected, but please do not speak for mine. :)

M. Möhling

> German press ... DOOMSDAY APOCALYPSE

When it's about anything less natural than, say, beeswax ointments or homeopathic dilutions we can't help but to channel feverishly our inner garden gnome, and that little guy decreed nuclear science not to be Aryan some time ago.

Let's have no less than Mr Trittin's take on a related topic:

Warum Naturschützer mit den Nazis gemeinsame Sache gemacht haben, ist da schon weniger rätselhaft: weil die Ideen der Naturschützer in mehrfacher Beziehung anschlussfähig waren an das Ideologienkonglomerat der Nazis, weil die Naturschützer vom "Dritten Reich" politisch zu profitieren hofften - und weil die Abwehrkräfte gegen totalitäre Demagogen unter den Naturschützern genauso schwach ausgeprägt waren wie im Rest des deutschen Bürgertums. Es entschuldigt nichts, wenn man darauf verweist, dass beileibe nicht nur die Naturschützer die Nationalsozialisten unterstützten - im Gegenteil. Der Beitrag der Natur- und Landschaftsschützer war weder marginal, noch war er ein "Betriebsunfall" der Naturschutzgeschichte. Es ist an der Zeit, dass die Debatte über Naturschutz und Nationalsozialismus die Zirkel der Fachhistoriker verlässt und öffentlich wird.

Alex

Perfectionistic Germans don't like uncertainess and phenomena they can not really calculate and fix. "Laissez faire", thats not the German way of living.
That is imho a main reason for the german engineering industry, famous for their high-end products, but it is also a reason for the hysteric fears regarding the uncertain and noncalculable risks of nuclear power.
Two sides of one medal.

Sorry, we are Germans, we can't change it. ;-)

daniela

Andrew, I think you're missing the point. Which in my opinion is not statistical probabilities (which may well speak in favour of nuclear energy) but the fact that this stuff will stay with us for thousands of years, with the potential of hurting in many ways. I realize that the public reaction in Germany seems panicky and a cause for ridicule in the eyes of other nations , but I don't care. I think we're right on this, and they are wrong.

Lutz

An old low level story from the WashPost.
1. The figures are from the past. They do not answer the question what can happen in the future.
You cannot compare an uninhabitable area of 1000 km² in central Europe with mining deads in China
2. Think of higher security standards in China's coal mines before you use these figures to play down the risk of nuclear power.
3. There is always a solution politicians do not tell you.

Alex (the other one)

Very true. As good German citizen I am of course against nuclear power plants, but I am also very annoyed by how hysterical every discussion is led here. It is not possible to calmly weigh pros and cons of a matter; it's always a question of life and death and/or morality, and either you're FOR IT OR YOU'RE AGAINST IT AND DON'T YOU DARE GIVING ME ARGUMENTS FOR THE OTHER SIDE!!!!!!11!!eleven1!

hgerstung

Death toll is not the only thing you should look at. A big accident like Chernobyl turns large areas into deadly horror land (tm) for a few thousand years. Maybe Russia or the US do not care about loosing a few square kilometres, but smaller countries with a higher gal/girl per square meter count probably do.

I for myself am happy that the German media is drawing an apocalyptic picture out of this tragedy. It puts pressure on politicians and the power industry to speed up renewable energy generation projects. Being "not a final solution" for generations did not do much to push this forward.

Bernhart

Evacuating a densely populated area of many, many square kilometers for a generation or longer is a catastrophe in itself. Which other event short of a war can cause something like that?

Policies have been revised for much less.

I'm not much concerned about rising radiation levels but then again the danger of being killed by Islamist terrorists is probably even less.

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