I was a kid when Chernobyl happened, old enough to remember it, and based in Finland at the time. I remember that yes, it was scary. But as a grown-up there are more scary things in the world, such as the climate change.
In Germany that feels particularly scary, because the country is currently on the path to shut down all nuclear power generation. The decision was made on 30 May 2011, when the German government announced a plan to shut all nuclear reactors by 2022. That’s in less than three years from now. Germany loves talking about renewable energy sources, but despite all those sweet words it’s not growing renewables fast enough to replace both the coal and nuclear with them.
Pay attention to top of the red line and what falls below it. Germany has managed only about 10% reduction in fossil fuel in power generation in the last 30 or so years. Pretty much all increase of renewables is going into replacing nuclear. How strongly the German government believe in that being enough? You’ll be the judge of that after seeing how strongly they are pushing for the building of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline for importing gas.
Nuclear dangers are very easy to put into impactful media headlines, while climate change and CO2 emissions are like a slow cooker, not so media sexy. So it comes as a surprise for many to learn that coal is already, without the most dramatic climate change hitting us, more deadly than nuclear power, by multiple magnitudes.
Am I saying we should go all nuclear, all the way? No. But I am saying that shutting down existing nuclear plants now is irresponsible.
Stop coal now!
Stop nuclear when you can replace it fully with renewables!
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