The anti-nuclear movement dictates government policies
The Local 11 (German news, 4/19/11, http://www.thelocal.de/national/20110419-34483.html) JPG
Yellow and red badges bearing the slogan "Nuclear Power? No Thanks" have again become ubiquitous in Germany since Japan's nuclear disaster.But anti-nuclear activist Wolfram Scheffbuch has taken to removing his whenever he comes to the small village of Neckarwestheim in the southwest of the country. "It's not the done thing here," the 40-something said. Neckarwestheim is home not just to one nuclear reactor, but two - Germany's oldest, in service since 1976, and its newest, up and running since 1989. The villagers are vehemently opposed to shutting them down. The spewing of radiation by Japan's stricken Fukushima plant since March 11's earthquake and tsunami has shaken faith in nuclear power in Germany perhaps more than other European countries. Recent weeks have seen huge demonstrations calling for Germany to stop using nuclear power, culminating on March 26 in a massdemonstration in towns around the country which organisers said involved a quarter of a million people. The next day, Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives were turfed out of power in the southwestern state of Baden-Württemberg, home to Neckarwestheim, after 58 years in charge. The main reason for the political upset was opposition to nuclear power, which helped the Greens to hugely improve their performance, not only in Baden-Württemberg, but also in other state elections. Merkel is reconsidering the decision she took last year to postpone by more than a decade - until the mid-2030s - the date when Germany goes nuclear-free. The country's seven oldest reactors have already been shut down pending a safety review.
Anti-nuclear lobby is powerful – nuclear storage proves
Brosersons 11 (Mark, M.A. in Comm and Culture @ Ryerson and York U, 3/22/11, http://www.tvo.org/cfmx/tvoorg/theagenda/index.cfm?page_id=3&action=blog&subaction=viewpost&blog_id=323&post_id=14369) JPG
To play the devil's advocate: Does nuclear waste and the ecological consequences of nuclear accidents (no matter how rare they may be) lessen nuclear power's environmental credentials?........ On the matter of nuclear waste - the politicisation is verging on the criminal. Even though much science/engineering and site preparation has been executed ( e.g. Yucca Mountain facility, salt mines etc. ) the anti nuclear lobby has managed to obstruct any actual use thereof. The consequence is that such radioactive byproducts continue to be stored under less than optimal conditions, e.g. at nuclear generating sites ( as per current Japan diseaster ) where they endanger civilian populations and encourage hysterical fear mongering. Most of the early nuclear facilities were in fact establishedunderthe understanding that waste would be stored in remote off site properly engineered facilities. This has not happened, thanks to the anti-nuclear lobby. So we allow such waste to be stored under the worst possible conditions - in turn providing fodder for fear mongering publicity. There are in fact many stable remote geological formations which could safely and easily accomodate all the worlds radioactive byproducts for very long time frames. Regrettably not happening.
The anti-nuclear movement is effective – has more influence than its counterpart
There is no point denying it. The anti-nuclear movement in Australia has been remarkably effective. Combined with abundant cheap coal, Australia’s anti –nuclear movement has keptus the only one oftheworld’s top 16 economies not to employ nuclear power. It made people like me grow up anti-nuclear without ever really being asked to think about it. The result is some of the highest per capita greenhouse gas emissions in the world; in South Australia around 720g CO2-e/kWh (which is one of the lowest levels in the country I might add. NSW, Victoria and Queensland are all much higher), compared to a mere 90g CO2-e/kWh in nuclear dominated France. Meanwhile, the pro-nuclear position has, to my observation, failed to ever really gain much traction, and has evidently failed to deliver change. This is said with all respect to the many smart and passionate people who have worked on the issue for much longer than I.
Yet despite all this, plus the fact that the need for zero-carbon energy has never been greater, the pro-nuclear position is still way off the pace. So surely the better question is: What positive things helped theanti-nuclear movement succeed that we should replicate? I believe the reason the anti-nuclear movement has basically succeeded in Australia where pro-nuclear has basically failed is simple. It’s staring you in the face, written into my text. One is a movement. The other isn’t. Movements are incredibly effective things, and the anti-nuclear movement has been an incredibly effective example. The only way to compete is to turn pro-nuclear from a position and a shared interest into a movement. That, dear readers, is what Decarbonise SA is all about.