Nuclear power splits opinions among readers | Services from Deutsche Welle | DW | 30.05.2011
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Nuclear power splits opinions among readers

The outlook of nuclear power in Germany has gone through some changes over the past few years, but now new developments have readers weighing in with their opinions.

A young woman has a radiation symbol painted on her face

Protests have brought the issue closer to the German public

The following comments reflect the views of DW-WORLD.DE readers. DW-WORLD.DE reserves the right to edit for length and appropriateness of content.

German government pledges nuclear phaseout by 2022

Do you think Germany should shut down its nuclear power plants?

From Facebook:

Absolutely. I was rallying for this already in the 1980s. There is no solution for nuclear waste anywhere in sight. That, plus the obvious dangers and the fact that it's a highly subsidized form of energy generation which, if you look at the entire value chain and product life cycle, is far more expensive than renewable energies, plus has a worse eco-balance than even coal. -- Gabi

I don't think so. Just because Japan is facing this problem doesn't mean every country should shut down their nuclear plants. Japan is facing this because of the tsunami. Germany will never face a tsunami so its nuclear program should remain open. -- Abhijit

No. Try to have the discipline of making things better first. Learn to take nuclear and traditional energy technologies out as political issues and into a science and technology issue. -- Robert

No, and they are only being shut down due to a knee-jerk reaction to Japan, a scenario which could never happen in Germany. Perhaps in modern Germany the left wing is more troubling for our future. Germany is now signing a limitless check payable to Russia for gas. Not the best energy security in the world. -- Andrew

Renewable energy like wind and solar needs to be further implemented. Germany leads the world in wind-produced energy and can wean itself off of nuclear energy. They are a model for the [entire]world in the means of utilizing renewable energy and focusing on the future of energy consumption and production. Atomkraft, nein danke - sondern, Windkraft! -- Adam

Massive nationwide protests call for an immediate end to nuclear energy

There is something very wrong with the Americans today. Here in the US it's business as usual. Even though the "powers that be" have succeeded in blocking any news about Fukushima, the general attitude is one of rolling the eyes and saying "oh, doom and gloom" when danger from radiation is even mentioned here. Even though I am an American I am so proud of the German citizens. There was a time when Americans cared about the future, family, economy, environment, wars, but now the important things are laptops, iPhones, and filling the void between our ears with reality TV. Why did America go to sleep? Thank you Germany for doing what's right. -- Mrs. Jones, US

Correct me if I am wrong but I think the biggest hangup to a nuclear free world, including both energy and weapons, is the United States. US policy concerning both is stupid, ignorant and incomprehensible with the danger both bring to the world. To have nuclear weapons in an arsenal and threaten to use them in any way, manner or situation, as policy of threat against others blows one's mind. To me it is mind-boggling to think this is a part of US military weaponry and that there are those who would actually use this weapon to blackmail others to do their bidding. Wars and nuclear weapons and nuclear energy must stop being seen as politically correct. Germany, ending nuclear energy, is on the right road to sanity. I wish the US would take the same road and really debate the issue and rid itself of any use of nuclear. -- Fred, US

It is no secret that industrial society of today is run on electricity. How can Germany stay competitive with countries which plan to ramp up nuclear electricity production? It is a noble idea to make our planet radiation free. Will the proponents of immediate shutdown accept full responsibility for Germany losing industrial positions? Massive loss of life due to lack of energy to warm up homes? Lack of food stock? The practical side of poor supply of electric energy is transparent. England has no well-developed nuclear energy production, impervious to market prices on fissile fuels and weather. Every winter they [attribute] the deaths of hundreds of elderly people to "natural causes," when people really die from cold. Is Germany prepared to trade its fear of radiation to actual loss of life? -- Miron, US

Greenpeace slams Japanese operator over Fukushima disaster

Do you trust companies or governments on the safety of nuclear technology?

There is little-to-no trust in companies or governments to be fully safe with nuclear technology. There is minimal accountability, no transparency, cover-ups of "minor" to major accidents, design flaws, failures and virtually no checks and balances. Humankind has been greatly deceived by those trusted to provide and to protect, regardless of the country of origin. And humankind has not taken accountability by self-educating and being proactive in such matters. -- Bonnie, US

No, why should I? It is interesting that companies and governments are said in the same breath because they are so intertwined when it comes to these matters. I refer you to the Price Anderson Act, a piece of legislation in the USA that to this day protects the nuclear industry. Was safety on the agenda? Only insofar as it addressed indemnifying the nuclear companies. The reason why we have nuclear power in the world is because of the so-called defense industry. All I have to do is look at the facts and then ask myself if I can trust them. Not before they show some real courage and leadership for human values, no. -- Abby, New Zealand

Readers discuss the shape of nuclear policy at home

Once again it is 'fashionable' to be against the use of nuclear energy. But are those who don't want it willing to pay the price? Either less energy, which means less growth, fewer jobs, fewer iPhones and similar gadgets, fewer cars and flights to go on holidays etc., or use fossil fuels and pay the price of global warming, or renewables like windmills and people object to how they spoil the view. It is time to wake up and face reality folks. Wearing a smiley "Nuclear Power? No Thanks" badge is so easy and cool and looks good with your pop festival gear but how about suggesting a solution rather than attacking one? -- Brian, United Kingdom

Compiled by Stuart Tiffen
Editor: Martin Kuebler

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