Germany replaces nuclear power with coal power, at insistence of environmentalists

In recent years, the environmental movement in Germany has persuaded the country to shut down one third if its nuclear power generating capacity.

Of that shut down nuclear capacity, more than 80% of it has been replaced with fossil fuels.

As well all know, scientific experiments in the laboratory show that, all else being equal, the higher the carbon dioxide concentration is, the higher the temperature will be.

Given that environmentalists have said that global warming is the biggest threat to the human race, I have to wonder why they would replace nuclear power with fossil fuels.

In addition, as everyone who is well informed about the dangers of radiation knows, a coal power plant releases 100 times as much radiation into the environment as does a nuclear power plant of the same wattage.

And yet, the environmentalists who express concern over radiation releases from nuclear power plants, have never expressed any concern over the far larger radiation releases that come from coal power.

Although I don’t know the statistics for Germany, in the United States, the pollution from coal power plants kills 30,000 people every year. So why would anyone want to replace nuclear power with coal power?

I love clean air. I love clean water. I love trees. I love animals. I’m a vegetarian. I use mass transit. I don’t own an automobile.

And yet for some reason, I have never felt comfortable with the idea of calling myself an “environmentalist,” because it seems that so many people who describe themselves with that label seem quite hostile to things such as science, technology, and risk analysis.

In France, an anti-nuclear activist protested against the so-called “dangers” of nuclear power by tying himself to the train tracks to try to stop a train that was carrying nuclear waste. Apparently unaware of the fact  that trains require great distances to stop, the protestor was promptly run over by the train and killed. Anyone who understood the laws of science, nature, and physics would not have made such a mistake. Also, what this means, as far as I am aware, is that in the country of France, more people have been killed by protesting against nuclear power (i.e., one), than have been killed by nuclear power itself (i.e., zero).

Meanwhile, France, which gets 80% of its electricity from nuclear power, has the cleanest air in the industrialized world, and the cheapest electricity in Europe.

The new Westinghouse AP-1000 nuclear reactor is capable of avoiding the type of disaster that happened at Japan’s Fukushima plant, because its cooling systems are powered by gravity instead of by electricity.

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July 5, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Environmentalism, Politics, Science, Technology.

One Comment

  1. jfreed27 replied:

    I doubt your premise. I cannot imagine any intelligent environmentalist preferring coal to nukes. They prefer the direction towards wind/solar. And Germany is going in that direction.

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