Sunday, 27 March 2011

Nuclear protests in Germany

Nuclear power is not loved in Germany. The reiging CDU/FDP coalition government, which recently decided to increase the lifespan of it's oldest nuclear reactors has now reversed the decision as a direct result of the disaster in Japan and now amid news of massive leaks of radiation at Fukushima, feelings among Germans are reaching fever pitch.

Protests were held in four major German cities including Cologne, Hamburg, Munich and Berlin with a total of 250,000 taking to the streets. Meanwhile in London 250,000 went out to protest against spending cuts instead of nuclear power. The differnce in motivations speaks volumes.

Partically no one except the politicians and power companies want nuclear power in Germany. Protests are massive and the protestors motivated. Violence is very rare here with the most violent clashes taking place as polic move in to clear Castor transport activists from rail tracks.

Some are even calling for the immediate shutting down of all nuclear reactors in Germany, which would mean a significant increase in both prices and the amount of coal used for power generation. I class myself as more moderate and believe that a transition is needed away from both nuclear power and fossil fuels, but climate protection must be the priority.

My own personal protest continues with my call for people to switch off where possible. After all the best solution is to reduce demand and only produce for your own needs. Having spoken to exhibitors at a clean energy fair today about my plans for houseboat communities I think I am sailing in the right direction. We shall see.

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