The nuclear shutdown was never just about energy policy

The nuclear shutdown was never just about energy policy

DFor the second time in Germany, nuclear power is being sacrificed to short-sighted tactical interests. The first time, twelve years ago, it was about the state elections in Baden-Württemberg in the context of the Fukushima disaster, from which the CDU (unsuccessfully) tried to get to safety. The term limit, only one year after the red-green exit had been reversed for good reasons, was one of the biggest mistakes of the Merkel years.

This time it’s about the balance in the traffic light coalition. The chancellor has to side with the Greens after he called them to order in the energy crisis and pushed through a “stretching operation”. This exit is also a wrong decision.

It’s wrong for one simple reason: Why do without the remains of climate-friendly technology when climate-damaging energy sources such as hard coal and lignite have to be reactivated at the same time? This is a contradiction that the Greens and the climate movement will have to deal with for a long time. They will no longer be able to fool anyone into thinking that they would do anything to stop climate change. They will also no longer be able to tell anyone that they are doing everything they can to replace fossil fuels.

Symptoms of a special path

The end of coal and gas burning should have come before nuclear power was phased out. The decommissioning of the last three nuclear power plants, which is now being completed, means: If it’s a big mistake, then it’s the right one.

The opponents of nuclear power are once again bringing out their old guns. It’s too expensive, too unsafe, and the garbage is too dirty. Nobody wants to invest in the technology anymore. No one? France, Belgium, Spain, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Poland, Hungary, Slovenia, the Netherlands, Slovakia, Romania, Bulgaria, Great Britain speak a different language. In all of these countries (just to name the European ones), politicians expect nuclear power plants to continue operating well into the next decade, and further development or new construction are at least being considered. The costs and risks seem to be assessed very differently there than in Germany.

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