Podcast #8 - Nuclear phase-out? Yes, please! Why the energy transition is important for peace, climate and health

In the new podcast episode we talk to Angelika Claussen (l.) and Laura Zöckler (r.) (Photos: IPPNW; Bürgerwerke eG)
In the new podcast episode we talk to Angelika Claussen (l.) and Laura Zöckler (r.) (Photos: IPPNW; Bürgerwerke eG)
The last three nuclear power plants in Germany will go offline at the end of 2022. However, critical voices are currently on the rise that propose extending the operating lives of the remaining nuclear power plants against the backdrop of the war in Ukraine and the advance of climate change. In this episode, the disadvantages of nuclear power in terms of peace, climate and health are highlighted, which in some cases receive too little attention in the current debates.

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The problems with nuclear energy

The potential dangers arising from accidents with large releases of radioactive substances harmful to health, final storage of highly radioactive waste, unmanageable long-term risks and military use in the form of nuclear weapons are actually reason enough to phase out nuclear power. But even beyond that, nuclear energy is not a competitive source of energy and is becoming increasingly uneconomical. Accidents, the dismantling of nuclear power plants and the final disposal of radioactive waste are further financial factors. In addition, nuclear energy is also not suitable to support the great transformation to sustainability, and thus the energy transition. The greatest challenge is to overcome the resistance from the old energy system, because the great transformation is prevented by innovation and investment blockades.

After all, Germany would not be less dependent on nuclear energy for its energy supply, as some argue, because the uranium fuel needed for nuclear power plants is imported from Russia and Kazakhstan, as are large quantities of natural gas.

The ray of hope: Expansion of renewable energies

Energy transition, on the other hand, can promote peace, climate and health. Although the political framework still needs to be stoked, the bureaucratic hurdles removed and the myths surrounding renewable energies dispelled, everyone can make a contribution to the energy transition. This can include installing a solar system on one's own roof and balcony, as well as involvement in an energy cooperative, political participation, purchasing green electricity, or spreading positive examples.

About our podcast guests

Angelika Claußen, MD, is co-chair of IPPNW (International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War/Physicians with Social Responsibility) and president of IPPNW Europe. She is an expert on the health hazards of low-level radiation and her focus areas are peace and the ban on nuclear weapons, nuclear phase-out, and climate and war. The IPPNW association is committed to a peaceful, nuclear technology-free and humane world and is one of seven supporting associations of Grüner Strom Label e.V.

Laura Zöckler is an energy transition ambassador for Bürgerwerke. Bürgerwerke eG is a German green power provider, an association of citizen energy companies and a label recipient of the Grüner Strom Label e.V. As an umbrella organization of energy cooperatives, Bürgerwerke bundles certified green power from local generation and thus supplies households and businesses throughout Germany.

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Podcast #8 - Nuclear phase-out? Yes, please! Why the energy transition is important for peace, climate and health

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Barbara Fricke

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Christian Knops

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Nina Cernohorsky

Speaker Green Gas, Green Power Certification