Fukushima et år efter

Diverse — Drokles on March 14, 2012 at 7:41 pm

Der Spiegel skriver om Merkels dalende engagement i lukningen af den tyske atomenergi industri

One year later, the images of Fukushima have faded from people’s minds. And the further the disaster recedes into the past, the less decisive the German government gets. Granted, the coalition of Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU), its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU), and the business-friendly Free Democratic Party (FDP) passed an extensive package of legislation last summer. But, since then, little has happened, and the initial momentum has given way to inertia.

Indeed, too many questions still remain unresolved, whether they concern the expansion of the national power grid, the construction of new gas-fired power plants, the increase in the proportion of electricity derived from renewable energy sources or the search for a place to store spent nuclear fuel. Efforts aimed at altering where Germany gets its energy from have gotten bogged down, the players within the coalition government have tied themselves in knots over who is responsible, and no one seems to be steering the ship of state toward the nuclear-free horizon. Germany’s grand and ambitious aim of transforming itself into a bastion of green energy is now in jeopardy — and, with it, the largest and most important project of Merkel’s chancellorship besides the euro-rescue efforts.

Rob Lyons gør status i Spiked-Online

Not a single person has died because of exposure to radiation as a result of the Fukushima accident, though two plant workers did die in a flooded basement room as a direct result of the tsunami. But lesson four is that overreaction to a problem can be worse than the original problem. For example, it was reported that 45 patients died after the botched and hurried evacuation of a hospital in the Fukushima prefecture, and this was not the only such case. One centenarian committed suicide rather than be forced from his home in the exclusion zone.

Most of Japan’s nuclear-power plants were shut down for testing after the accident or kept offline after maintenance for longer than expected. A country with hot summers like Japan has become reliant on air conditioning. With power supplies reduced, more people seemed to be affected by heatstroke. In July, it was reported that 26 people had died from heatstroke in the spring and early summer, compared to six people the year before. These may not all have been down to the problems caused by the nuclear shutdown, but it can’t have helped that people were being constantly nagged to reduce their power usage. Ironically, two workers at the plant, wearing very heavy protective suits to protect them against the radiation, died from heatstroke.

As for the people who were evacuated, their lives have been turned upside down. A survey of the members of one village showed that many have drastically reduced incomes, they have often been separated from the rest of their extended families, they face uncertainty about the future and even harbour nagging concerns about radiation and cancer. The result is that some have turned to drinking and smoking more, raising their risk of illness from these, more prosaic factors. The risks of returning to their homes and rebuilding their old lives would seem to be much lower.

For Japan to turn against nuclear power is, perhaps, understandable. For Western nations to do so is perverse.

Europæiske politikere og medier støtter helt ukritisk perversionens falske præmis.

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