"No more new nukes" says German minister - as clapped-out reactor goes back online

"Krümmel stays off. Blockade 3 July 2 pm"

Germany's economics minister has ruled out building new nuclear power stations but said the life of some reactors might be extended and the development of alternative technologies stepped up.


"We need limited extensions until we are able to work with sensible alternative technologies in an economical and environmentally friendly manner," Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg told the Sueddeutsche Zeitung daily in an interview.


"That includes the possibility of equipping existing nuclear power stations with state-of-the-art technology in order to make them even safer and more efficient," the conservative minister said.




The news comes as one of Germany’s most accident-prone nuclear power stations – Krümmel,  about 40 km southeast of Hamburg gets permission to start working again after being shut down for two years following a fire. It’s not yet known publicly when it will restart.


The environmental activism group Robin Wood notes that there have been more than 300 technical breakdowns in the nuke, which was taken into operation in 1983 and is owned half each by the Vattenfall and E.ON power companies.


Since 1986, an overly high incidence of leukaemia in children has been found in the surrounding area. While Krümmel has been suspected, it has not been possible to establish the cause of the cases.


“We are most deeply disappointed by all in responsibility. Not a single leukaemia case in the area has been cleared up,” says Jan Becker of the north German activists contratom.


Environmental activists demand that Krümmel be shut down for good. Robin Wood’s energy consultant, Dirk Seifert, calls it “one of the most clapped-out reactors of Germany”.


“More than 300 incidents since it started up and an above-average leukaemia occurrence in its vicinity allow only one conclusion: further operation of this scrap reactor is irresponsible.”


Seifert argues further that there was no need to expose people to the high risks because the past two years when the nuke was not producing showed that the power supply was assured problem-free without it.


“In fact, in the same period Vattenfall still made huge profits.


“The future belongs to renewable energies, not ancient nukes.”


A vigil was held on Saturday (20 June) and a large protest action, a blockade of Krümmel, is planned for Friday 3 July. In addition to hundreds of local protesters, farmers from the Wendland area, where the Gorleben nuclear waste dump is located, are also expected. Tractors and people are to form a blockade outside the main gate.


“Now they’re pretending that everything’s in the best possible order. But the opposite is the case,” says Becker. “We’re going to set a clear signal against resumption of operation and for shutting down all atomic installations.” 


For the Robin Wood aspects of this article contact: Dirk Seifert 0011 49 176 / 48 11 84 42, energie@robinwood.de and/or Ute Bertrand, ROBIN WOOD Media consultant, 0011 49 40 / 380 892-22, presse@robinwood.de, http://www.robinwood.de/energie . 


Becker says “useful tips for such days” (in German) are at 

http://www.gipfelsoli.org/rcms_repos/Tools/bezugsgruppenreader.pdf,  http://www.contratom.de/