The international consequences of the Nuclear Powder Keg that threatens Japan have spanned the globe, protests have cropped up around the world as all governments scrutinize their own nuclear reactors. Many of these demonstrations numbered in the tens of thousands as petulant environmentalists and myopic citizens called for a swift end to the nuclear power, ignoring that without nuclear power the world would grow dark.
Where are the Protests?
Berlin, Germany and Stuttgart, Germany have the largest demonstrations with 100,000 protesters.
Germany has the second largest concentrations of nuclear power plants in Europe with 17 aging reactors. Today, protesters at Stuttgart formed a 45 kilometer chain to call attention to failings at Germany’s oldest reactors. Craving to demonstrators demands demands the German government has ordered the nuclear power company Merkel to shut down 7 of the oldest reactors for the next three months. Many celebrate this landmark decision, however skeptics are wondering where supplement power will come from. By closing those seven plants over three percent of German power will need to be bought from surrounding countries or made in wasteful auxiliary generators.
Meanwhile major protests rocked France, a country that runs on over 80% nuclear power. French officials remain unrelenting defenders of French nuclear power, with an impeccable record of having no major or minor meltdowns. In addition they are joining all European Union nations is stress testing their nuclear reactors.
American anti-nuclear protests were centered in California, where protesters fear radiation from Japan infecting American shores and the potential of meltdowns at California’s two aging reactors. Activists call for a swift and immediate closer of the power plants, favoring environmentally friendly wind and solar power sources. Obama has announced his protection of nuclear power in the United States, stating that America’s reactors are safe from all common natural disasters. Demonstrators ignored his statements and continue to protest in California and in every major city in the United States.
What will This Mean For Nuclear Power?
The nuclear industry has not been negatively impacted by the Japanese disaster.
Construction of new nuclear reactors has continued despite the wave of protesters calling for reevaluation of power options. Canada has decided to continue with a nuclear reactor in Vancouver. Russia and Belarus have just announced signing a nine billion dollar deal that will lead to construction of a nuclear power plant in Belarus, adding their first nuclear reactor to supplement traditional sources. It is collectively agreed that the Japanese Nuclear Powder Keg is a perfect example the danger of nuclear powers; in addition many claim that since there has not been a full meltdown that humanity is successfully defeated the worst nature can dish out.
Is Nuclear Power Good or Bad (or Necessary)?
Fossil fuels are running dry while wind, solar, and hydrogen cannot support the demand; Nuclear power is necessary for the modern world. 14% of all power produced in the world is produced by nuclear reactors. In addition, the most dangerous sources of power continue to be coal and oil; hundreds of workers die each year in explosions and collapses. There has only been one major nuclear disaster in history, Chernobyl, a disaster that could have been easily prevented or mitigated. The only problem in this tragic disaster was human failings.
In order to progress into the future humanity will need nuclear power, there are no reliable, efficient, or healthy alternatives. The nuclear Renaissance will soldier on throughout the world, simply because there is no other choice. This means the nuclear industry will continue to flourish, leading to a more prosperous international economy with reduced energy dependence.