Friday, July 22, 2011

What is the secret to success of Germany's anti-nuke movement?

Beyond Nuclear
July 22, 2011

"Nuclear power? No Thanks!" in German
Intense grassroots organizing. Several decades worth.

In a story entitled "Germany's Anti-Nuclear Shift," Public Radio International's "The World" looks at the long history of Germany's anti-nuclear power movement, especially its resistance to the national radioactive waste dumpsite at Gorleben. That long history laid the groundwork for massive street demonstrations, as well as Green Party electoral victory, in the immediate aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe. Even pro-nuclear Conservative Party Prime Minister Angela Merkel could not withstand the popular pressure, and announced a dramatic reversal to her previous plans to extend the operations of Germany's 17 atomic reactors: the immediate shutdown of the 7 oldest units, followed by the gradual shutdown of the 10 remaining units by 2022.

A companion piece shows that the replacement power will come from Germany's renewable and efficiency industries -- already world leaders -- redoubling efforts, despite challenges. Gerry Hadden, the reporter of the two stories above, added his thoughts in a blog entitled "In Nukes’ Shadow, Fearlessness and Fatalism," comparing and contrasting the feelings of those living near the permanently shuttered (for safety reasons, after a fire) Brunsb├╝ttel nuclear power plant in Germany, with those living near the shattered Chernobyl Unit 4 in Ukraine. 

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