VMany politicians in Germany hoped that the nuclear phase-out would set a precedent in Europe. If only because it would only have made sense then. After Fukushima, the debate was always about the worst possible accident. It would also be catastrophic for the Germans if it happened in a kiln a few kilometers behind the border. So it’s best to get rid of all the reactors nearby. But the opponents of nuclear power wanted something else, a symbolic victory. To have the feeling of being on the right side of history and recognizing earlier than others that the future is only good without nuclear energy.
This is still reflected in the statements made by some Greens today. Recently, for example, Jürgen Trittin said that “the global end of nuclear power is currently being experienced”. But the opposite is true. The hopes of German opponents of nuclear power have not been fulfilled. Europe is experiencing a nuclear renaissance. This week, Sweden’s government announced plans to build more nuclear power plants, including smaller, more modern ones. Belgium has extended the service life of two nuclear power plants by ten years, Poland is planning two reactors, and some are also to be built in the Czech Republic. And in France there was never any talk of an exit anyway. Nuclear energy has long formed the backbone of energy supply there.
But the German nuclear power opponents want nothing to do with it. They keep bringing up the same arguments, although they have long since been refuted: “We are making ourselves dependent on Russia’s uranium!” It is true that Germany has been buying Russian uranium for years. But you can also get it from other countries. “But the final storage problem is unsolved!” That’s right, in the meantime, however, nobody is dying from nuclear waste in temporary storage facilities. And what’s added in terms of spent fuel makes little difference. “But it’s too late to build new nuclear power plants now for the climate!” Then it would be all the more necessary to connect all the reactors in Germany that still work somehow to the grid. And is it really the case that there is no point in building new nuclear power plants? Then why do our neighbors want to do it?
In politics, it is always a question of weighing things up
Because in truth it is they who have seen what the future will bring. Namely a world in which everyone consumes much more electricity because more people drive electric cars, heat their houses with heat pumps and because industry no longer works with gas but with hydrogen. All things that are particularly important to the Greens. However, they do not provide enough energy for this. In their fixation on distant risks, they ignore obvious ones. That Germany could lack the juice to realize its energy transformation as ambitiously as announced. The power grid is exposed to extreme fluctuations. That energy remains too expensive.
In politics, it is always a question of weighing things up. For nuclear power, this means that you have to ask yourself what is more manageable, unchecked global warming or a form of energy that requires caution. You have to decide what is more important, enough climate-friendly energy, or only energy from wind and sun, which then could not be enough for everyone. The answers are simple. Only in Germany do they still have to be heard.