Turn off those atomic power plants!

The German government made a speedy decision to let our rotting atomic power plants continue to produce for another 14 years, although there is still no secure place to put the radiating garbage they produce and the "Asse" that was built to survive 100.000 years is already leaking after 40....

One assumes that the energy companies lobbied hard (= paid a lot) for this, as this is pretty much free money for them: no investment needed.

So today the good citizens had to take to the streets again. The idea was to surround the parliament and chancellor's office and blow whistles at them.

We got off to a late start, but the subway was filled with like-minded people - we had all dug out our "Atomkraft - Nein danke!" buttons from the 80s. And it was kind of strange - normally we don't speak to strangers on subways, but people were talking with each other. The guy across from us mentioned that his daughter was now a Greenpeace activist and was coming with friends.

And indeed, there were all ages there. Around 100.000 people with all sorts of posters, stickers, costumes, wagons, T-Shirts. I laughed at the vegan people in their cow suits (complete with udders on their bellies) with their signs "Don't split atoms or animals". The stickers with "Just be glad we don't build atomic power plants - BP" were quite true. And I really, really want one of these Hard Rock Cafe - Chernobyl T-Shirts.

The FDP house (Picture linked from ard.de)
We passed the central offices of the junior ruling party FDP - we whistled a lot and they got their windows covered in stickers. The three police officers in riot dress stood calmly by, accepting this small misdemeanor to avoid larger conflict. Many cars that were unfortunate enough to be parked along the way got the same treatment. Seems Beemers and Mercs got more stickers than other ones.

When we hit the Bundestag everyone just kind of cut across the space, and we found a place to sit and watch the masses strolling by. There was a bit of rain, some really great steel drum groups (drumming on atomic waste cans), and a large pile of cans of "atomic waste" was collected in a big pile.

We didn't stay for all of the speeches - it was kind of preaching to the converted. But I am glad that there is protest, although I would have hoped that it would not have been necessary.


Anonymous said...

This post is pure nonsense.

1.Even coal-burning stoves operate with ATOMS. What you mean are nuclear power plants. Mixing these things up is of no help at all.

2.None of our nuclear power plants are "rotting". All of them are kept perfectly in order - and are tightly controlled by industry, by the government and by lots of anxious and well-informed people.

3.Even if we agree to get out of nuclear power generation, it would be absolutely crazy to do this without exploiting the existing technology to the limit. Because someone has to PAY for the establishment of environmentally friendly energy systems - and we cannot afford to do this at once.

WiseWoman said...

Well, I wouldn't have posted it if it were nonsense, but you are welcome to disagree with it.

1) In Germany we speak of "Kernkraft". If this is better translated as "nuclear power" instead of "atomic power" I stand corrected. My years of protesting against this kind of power were all spent in Germany.

2) I beg to differ. "Perfect order"? "tightly controlled"? Wikipedia lists the ones we know about that are rather major: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_civilian_nuclear_accidents. The press is full of "minor operational incidents with no threat". Sure - we can't see it, we can't feel it, but in the area around many nuclear power plant children are dying of leukemia. Radioactive radiation causes cancer: http://timeforchange.org/nuclear-power-station-causing-cancer-leukemia. Think about that the next time a loved one dies of cancer.

3) They have had plenty of years to establish alternative technology, and to learn to conserve energy instead of gobbling up more and more. They are producing "cheap" energy and nuclear waste that will be around for a long, long time. We have still not solved the nuclear waste problem, so we need to get out of this kind of power generation as soon as possible.

Daniel said...

3) Also please note: They're producing "cheap" energy and don't have to worry about the rubbish, because they have the deal, that the government is taking care of (and paying for) the rubbish...

Another important fact is: They call it "another 14 years" but in fact they assigned those companies the amount of Kilowatt hours equivalent to fourteen years. So they can let those plants run on half "speed" until there's a new government willing to extend the lifetime. Or they're able to shutdown some plants and transfer the reamining output to another plant.

Another funny fact: They got this new tax on nuclear fuel which was made, so the normal people think, energy companies will 'pay' for this and 'share' their profit. The downside is, they're able to write this fee fully and 100% off, when it comes to tax-paying. Meaning it just runs through the books, but effectively they're not paying a dime!