Nuclear Security has been an issue in Germany for quite a while. Ever since the first nuclear power plant was built in 1961, people have questioned the security of nuclear reactors. In the 1970’s and 1980’s, with the Green Party rising and protests concerning environmental security becoming more frequent, the anti-atom movement came into being. Atomic – waste was of especially great concern.
A coalition of left-wing and green parties agreed to end the era of nuclear power plants “in a safe and orderly fashion.” They collaborated with big electric companies to come to an “Atom – Consensus,” defining an exact goal of electricity to be produced before the depletion of nuclear power could commence.
Then in 2011, after the nuclear disaster following an 8.2 earthquake in Fukushima, Japan, Angela Merkel ordered 8 out of 17 nuclear reactors to be turned off immediately. Later in the year, on March 30th, the administration announced what they called the “Atom Exit” or “Energy – Turn”. All nuclear power plants would be turned off by 2022, and large investments into renewable energy such as wind and water would be made to move away from harmful substances like coal and uranium.
Today there are still 8 active nuclear power plants in Germany, providing for 16% of total energy use compared to about 25% in 2011. That is pretty good compared to the USA and China, but it still puts Germany in 12th place worldwide with the number of nuclear reactors.
Germany, unlike its close neighbor France, does not build or possess any nuclear weapons. However, to the concern of many, it agreed to host more US atomic weapons, just last year.
Generally, Germany presses firmly for worldwide atomic disarmament, and signed the Iran Nuclear Deal in 2015.
by Pauline F.