The fact that Germany's chancellor Angela Merkel, a former physicist, follows the sentiments of the German people of dislike for nuclear energy must be considered an interesting development.
Germany gets 25% of its electricity from nuclear power and if they perform a change like the proposed one it must be possible. I have earlier advocated for the center-right parties in Sweden to take initiative from the Green party on energy which is exactly what Merkel is doing in Germany. This is probably more important than my earlier support for nuclear power as an alternative for Sweden because it might prevent new left of center coalitions to form.
If the technically highly proficient Japanese ran into such problems with Fukushima this has to be taken seriously. Three Mile Island 1979, Chernobyl 1986 and now Fukushima is beginning to be too much. This demonstrates that the technology is too unsafe together with the problem of storage of spent nuclear fuel. Furthermore, the technology seems to be problematic to keep up and running with resulting power shortages in Sweden lately during the winter time.
The decision of Merkel's government is going to keep the pressure up on Germany's green technology industry and stimulate to even more serious research in the field. This will probably be good also for Swedish initiatives. I regard Merkel's initiative as a liberal conservative step forward in time. I have earlier asked the question if politicians with science background are path-finders and the politicians of the future. By following the sentiments of the public and rating various security risks, I think Angela Merkel is doing the right thing. The initiative is probably going to cost some carbon dioxide but this is in all probablity a lesser problem.
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