More than 200,000 Germans march against nuclear power

March 27, 2011 by Frederic HAPPE
An anti-nuclear demonstrator with her face painted takes part in a protest march in the southern German city of Munich. An estimated 200,000 people took to the streets around Germany Saturday to protest against nuclear power, upping the pressure on Chancellor Angela Merkel on the eve of a critical state election.

An estimated 200,000 people took to the streets around Germany Saturday to protest against nuclear power, upping the pressure on Chancellor Angela Merkel on the eve of a critical state election.

One of the organisers Ausgestrahlt said 250,000 people took part in demonstrations in four major cities marching under the banner " Means: No More Nuclear Power Stations.".

Marches took place in Hamburg, Cologne, Munich and the capital Berlin ahead of the vote in wealthy Baden-Wuerttemberg state on Sunday at which nuclear energy is set to be a key issue.

Police said more than 100,000 took part in Berlin alone. Organisers claimed 20,000 more.

In a rainy Munich, police spoke of 30,000 participants, while organisers said there were 40,000. The marches in Hamburg and Cologne attracted 50,000 and 40,000 respectively, organisers said.

Hailing the protests as "Germany's biggest ever demonstration against nuclear power," Ausgestrahlt said, "the government's answer must be to turn the reactors off."

Curd Knuefer, 26, a Berlin student, said that in a context where majority public opinion had long been hostile to the Fukushima accident had been a wake-up call.

"We need to learn the lessons of Japan: nothing is impossible," said one placard.

"Today's demonstrations are just the prelude to a new, strong anti-nuclear movement. We're not going to let up until the plants are finally mothballed," said Jochen Stay, an Ausgestrahlt spokesman.

Merkel decided on March 14, in light of the nuclear crisis in Japan, to observe a three-month moratorium on extending the lifetimes of Germany's 17 reactors and to shut off the oldest seven temporarily, pending safety checks.

Voters believed she was merely electioneering, despite her protests to the contrary, and reported comments from the economy minister seemingly confirming this have added to Merkel's woes ahead of Sunday's must-win election.

Her conservative CDU party has braced for a tight result in the southwestern state they have held for 58 years.

Polls show the ecologist Greens, spurred by anti-nuclear sentiment in the country, could make history and garner enough votes with the opposition Social Democrats (SPD) to govern with Germany's first-ever Green state premier.

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5 / 5 (1) Mar 28, 2011
Poland should consider annexing Germany. Why not?
5 / 5 (2) Mar 28, 2011
I think Frau Merkel will want to revisit her party's overeaction to the Incident in Japan and the voters showed this yesterday - if everyone would buy CANDU reactors and maintain them well - we would not be trying to return to our subsistence roots.
5 / 5 (3) Mar 28, 2011
And what will they replace their reactors with?
More polluting alternatives?
5 / 5 (1) Mar 28, 2011
So, we know there are at least 200,000 idiots in Germany willing to march about an issue they obviously know nothing about...
Mar 28, 2011
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
5 / 5 (3) Mar 28, 2011
Why not to consider cold fusion after all?

Because it's bunk?

The orientation to the nuclear power doesn't appear a good strategic decision for me.

Which is unsurprising coming from someone suggesting cold fusion as a realistic option to our energy problems...

5 / 5 (1) Mar 30, 2011
considering all the risks ranging from radiation exposure/health risk, and capital risk, facility, etc...
all reactors should not only have more redundancy, but should be designed to allow for prompt, accessable containment (and maybe removal) of indivual rods, even in the event of complete loss of all plant power and control. The additional cost of this design in all plants would probably be payed for by avoiding a single accident. Seems utterly ironic that the problems at the japanese plant were caused by a lack of power doesnt it?
not rated yet Apr 06, 2011
200,000 Germans marching! I hope they were not anywhere near the French border. Old habits are hard to break...

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