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Germany

Germany is the scene of some of the most vibrant and numerous anti-nuclear activities including protests of waste shipments and reactor relicensing. Although it is supposed to be phasing out nuclear plants, the Merkel government in 2010 agreed to modest license extensions for the country's 17 plants, prompting widespread protests.

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Monday
Sep192011

No nukes for Siemens

The German industrial and engineering conglomerate, Siemens, following on the heels of its government's decision to abandon nuclear energy, has withdrawn entirely from the nuclear industry. It will build no further nuclear plants and is canceling its nuclear joint venture with Russia's Rosatom. Siemens built all 17 of Germany's existing nuclear plants. Siemens chief executive, Peter Loescher, (pictured) praised the Merkel government's decision to close all its nuclear plants by 2022 and aim for an 80% to 100% renewable energy economy by 2050, calling it "a project of the century."

Friday
Jul222011

What is the secret to success of Germany's anti-nuke movement?

"Nuclear power? No thanks!" in German -- a popular anti-nuclear slogan internationally since the 1970s.Intense grassroots organizing. Several decades worth. In a story entitled "Germany's Anti-Nuclear Shift," Public Radio International's "The World" looks at the long history of Germany's anti-nuclear power movement, especially its resistance to the national radioactive waste dumpsite at Gorleben. That long history laid the groundwork for massive street demonstrations, as well as Green Party electoral victory, in the immediate aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe. Even pro-nuclear Conservative Party Prime Minister Angela Merkel could not withstand the popular pressure, and announced a dramatic reversal to her previous plans to extend the operations of Germany's 17 atomic reactors: the immediate shutdown of the 7 oldest units, followed by the gradual shutdown of the 10 remaining units by 2022. A companion piece shows that the replacement power will come from Germany's renewable and efficiency industries -- already world leaders -- redoubling efforts, despite challenges. Gerry Hadden, the reporter of the two stories above, added his thoughts in a blog entitled "In Nukes’ Shadow, Fearlessness and Fatalism," comparing and contrasting the feelings of those living near the permanently shuttered (for safety reasons, after a fire) Brunsbüttel nuclear power plant in Germany, with those living near the shattered Chernobyl Unit 4 in Ukraine.

Tuesday
Jun282011

German farmers reap $15 million from wind power

Harvesting Clean Energy on Ontario Farms, a new report commissioned by the Heinrich Boell Foundation,

highlights the untapped business opportunities for farmers that can be found in renewable energy. The report will be presented during a tour through the Canadian province of Ontario in partnership with the Climate Action Network Canada, Pembina Institute, and The United Church of Canada. It focuses on numerous benefits of renewable energy, such as rural economic development and improved environmental conditions. It also describes the government policies needed to allow farmers to embrace these benefits.Some farmers in northern Germany make $2.5 million in a good year growing wheat. They make $15 million harvesting the wind, as the Ottawa Citizen reports.

Tuesday
Jun282011

More ingenuity from Germany - 100% renewable electricity 24 hours a day

Wednesday
Jun152011

German Greens regard 2022 phase out of 10 remaining atomic reactors as too slow

As an op-ed by John LaForge of Nukewatch in Wisconsin points out, German Greens and other anti-nuclear groups are planning Germany-wide protests this summer and fall, calling for the phaseout of the ten remaining atomic reactors immediately, not 11 years from now. In response to the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe, previously pro-nuclear conservative Chancellor Angela Merkel immediately shut down seven of the oldest reactors -- a move that will now be permanent.