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More than 100,000 protest nuclear power

The Local · 15 Mar 2011, 07:19

Published: 15 Mar 2011 07:19 GMT+01:00

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No official figure on the turnout was available.

Demonstrations took place in more than 450 towns and cities, according to the anti-nuclear organisation "Ausgestrahlt" (Irradiated).

"It is the first time in the history of the movement against nuclear power plants that so many people have mobilized in so short a time to demonstrate," movement spokesman Jochen Stay said.

The group had announced the protests on the internet and Stay said organizers were surprised at the response.

In Berlin, several hundred people turned out to demonstrate in front of chancellery, including Social Democratic leader Sigmar Gabriel, Green politicians Renate Künast and Jürgen Trittin, The Left party's Gregor Gysi and Berlin's SPD Mayor Klaus Wowereit.

Demonstrators held signs that said: "Solidarity with Japan – end nuclear power" and "Harrisburg 1979, Chernobyl 1986, Fukushima 2011 – when will we finally understand?"

On Saturday tens of thousands of people formed a human chain in southwestern Germany between the nuclear power station at Neckarwestheim and Stuttgart, capital of Baden-Württemberg.

The event had been planned long in advance to demand the closure of the plant, one of the oldest in the country.

Story continues below…

On Monday Chancellor Angela Merkel announced a three-month suspension of plans to extend the lifespan of Germany's nuclear power plants, pending a safety review.

Further large-scale demonstrations are planned for March 26.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

08:10 March 15, 2011 by Zlik
It's good to see a unified person force with focus. To belt those power driven future exterminators with their Political clout and whatnot. May the force be with you.
09:56 March 15, 2011 by B-Squared
Wow...there's something you never read: Germans protesting something! It's got to be a favorite past time of their's. "Solidarity with Japan"... because we want an end to nuclear power. We don't want to get involved with any other country's problems though, that is, unless we would have a reason to protest. I wonder if they realize they're surrounded by other countries with nuclear power. Do you think radiation pays attention to international borders? What are the protester's alternative's to nuclear power in order to satisfy demand until there is more affordable "green technology?" It's frustrating how sheepishly they act.
10:03 March 15, 2011 by moistvelvet
...and afterwards the protestors dispersed on bicycles to candle lit tents, sang around the camp fire and hugged trees. Or they got into their fossil fuel burning cars or onto public transport back to their homes, fired up the microwave for some convenience food and switched on the internet and TV powered by nuclear reactors for the latest on Fukushima whilst giving each other a hypocritical pat on the back.
10:12 March 15, 2011 by jimscott
Well the protesters have a right to be scared. After all, who knows when the next big earthquake is going to hit Germany!!
10:23 March 15, 2011 by moistvelvet
Of course they have a right to be scared, we all have a right to education too, incidently when was the last "big" earthquake to hit Germany?
10:28 March 15, 2011 by Simon_Kellett
B-Squared, moistvelvet and jimscott: are you real people, or Astroturfers? (tip: spread your posts out further timewise, and give better reasoned arguments !!)

- Of course the protests know that radiation crosses borders.

- Waiting for 'affordable "green technology?"' ? Nuclear technology has never been affordable: who do you think paid for the plants to be built, who will pay to decommission them, and who pays the insurance? Answer: the tax payer.

- You know full well that a 'modern' lifestyle is possible without nuclear power.

- We all know that nuclear accidents are possible without needed an earthquake.
10:41 March 15, 2011 by michael4096
The first thing most of us saw on the television pictures out of japan was an oil refinary blowing up with unknown dead and noxious smoke destroying the health of quite a few more. Far worse than the nuclear story so far. However, I don't see any protests against oil fired power stations.

"You know full well that a 'modern' lifestyle is possible without nuclear power."

Only if you continue to disregard dead miners, wars over oil, health problems due to polution etc etc
10:55 March 15, 2011 by jimscott
@ simon_Kellet. If you take time to read the article properly, those people only came out on monday to demonstrate in light of the earthquake in Japan. It seems any excuse is needed for these hypocrits to whinge about something that they no nothing about.

And please explain to us astroturfers how a modern lifestyle without nuclear power is possible.
11:02 March 15, 2011 by moistvelvet

- Then their protest is futile

- You mention affordable, I say sustainable

- But in the meantime we have nuclear power and those who oppose it will use it and will happily prosper in a country whos economy needs it to give them the modern lifestyle which they want.

- We all know that only 3 nuclear accidents have happened with no great loss of life. Protesting the use of the family car would do more in saving lives and the environment, but heck how would the protestors get to Uni or that summer festival!
11:48 March 15, 2011 by tallady
We all know that the truth is ... nuclear power is not safe..what can you add or delete from that?
12:03 March 15, 2011 by moistvelvet
What is safe? Driving a car isn't safe, but we still do. Apparently going online isn't safe either but you are...
12:29 March 15, 2011 by tallady
The issue is not about driving a car or being on line or climbing a ladder..,,it's about nuclear power generation,do you have something to add of consequence to that?
13:10 March 15, 2011 by Angry Ami
Whoopie, the demo doofuses are at it again, and once again they have no realistic viable alternative to offer, build a wind farm, the neighbors complain about the noise and the hässlich look of the turbines, install solar panels, too expensive and oh yeah this is Germany, not sunny Southern Cali, use coal, they hate coal too, here's an idea, instead of going out to protest you dweebs, build a big wheel and run like a hamster to generate your energy, an idea who's time has come.
13:26 March 15, 2011 by moistvelvet
The short term consequence of not having nuclear power and the effect it WILL have on the country is far more threatening to our lifestyles than what hypothetically MAY happen in the worse case scenario if events unfolded as predicted by the do-gooder tree huggers.

Simply there are far more threats to life everyday that people should be worried about, but they aren't, we just limit the risk which is exactly what the nuclear industry does.
13:54 March 15, 2011 by tallady
Ya, maybe, in a perfect world,,but we find now in Japan that the power company fudged it's records lied in the past ,this is not a vote of confidence to the public that will inevitably pay the ultimate price should a disaster occur, I am not advocating the immediate end to nuclear power but believe it is time to find a safer alternative. It is not safe...

We have had the Chernobyl disaster,A partial meltdown of a reactor's uranium core at the Chalk River plant near Ottawa,Canada and fire destroyed the core of a plutonium-producing reactor at Britain's Windscale nuclear complex.The core of an experimental reactor near Detroit, Mich., melted partially when a sodium cooling system failed. A coolant malfunction from an experimental underground reactor at Lucens Vad, Switzerland, releases a large amount of radiation into a cave, which was then sealed. Near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, America's worst nuclear accident occurred. A partial meltdown of one of the reactors forced the evacuation of the residents after radioactive gas escaped into the atmosphere.n France's most serious nuclear accident, three workers were contaminated after entering a nuclear particle accelerator in Forbach without protective clothing. Executives were jailed in 1993 for failing to take proper safety measures.Another accident at the uranium processing plant at Tokaimura, Japan, plant exposed fifty-five workers to radiation. More than 300,000 people living near the plant were ordered to stay indoors. Workers had been mixing uranium with nitric acid to make nuclear fuel, but had used too much uranium and set off the accidental uncontrolled reaction.

Related Sites. I would not call people who say nuclear power is unsafe tree huggers,realistic would be a better term.
14:19 March 15, 2011 by michael4096
@tallady - you are perfectly correct, nuclear power is unsafe. Unfortunately, the alternatives are even less safe.

Add all of the casualties of all of the accidents you cite and work out the cost in casualties per megawatt produced. Then do the same for coal, oil and gas and you'll find nuclear power is relatively not so dangerous after all.
14:35 March 15, 2011 by moistvelvet
I've never said that a safer alternative to nuclear power shouldn't be found, obviously when one can be found that is cost effective and actually provides similar or surpasses power from nuclear then it should replace it. But to many of the protesters they seem to want an immediate end to nuclear power without really thinking about the dark aftermath of what will happen.

You mention many incidents yet in actual fact the casualties involved are relatively insignificant, again more people die every day from other dangers yet we do not fear or protest about them.

Incidently wouldn't it be ironic if any of those protesting nuclear power for fear of radiation leaks and illness actually do smoke? Just about sums up there argument.

You say realistic, as a pessimist I say what about objects hurtling towards us through space that realistically could become Extinction Level Events, how do we protest about them next?

Chernobyl is considered the worse disaster probably because of the graphic footage of destruction, however statistics from WHO show that from the initial 237 people infected with ARS it only accounted for 28 deaths. In the years that followed the mortality of people in the area of Chernobyl suffering from cancer is no higher than the national level... in other words Chernobyl wasn't that bad but the general fear of radiation suits the anti-nuclear agenda.
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