Despite a negotiated political agreement to shut down its operating reactors at the end of their initial 30 year licensing period, Germany still needs nuclear engineers. It did not produce a single person with a nuclear engineering degree in 2001, but a recent study shows that it is an industry that is facing a wave of retirements well before the plants will be shut down and decommissioned.
In a land of high unemployment, there are some bright young people that are beginning to recognize that there is an opportunity to be had by going against the flow and learning as much as possible about the technology. Here is what Phillip Schumann said in a recent article titled Hot job in Germany: nuclear engineer.
“I believe that within the next 20 years, Germans will realize that nuclear energy will be necessary for our energy security,” said the electrical engineering student at a nuclear industry fair here in February. “Although I am in the minority now, I am optimistic about the future for nuclear energy in Germany.”
I wish I could read German – I hope that somewhere in that country there is a discussion going on that questions not only the current logic of the decision to abandon nuclear power, but also the circumstances surrounding that decision.
- Why would a country that had a recognized leadership role in a major industry decide to destroy the industry?
- Why did Gerhard Schroeder press for the early dismantling of existing nuclear power plants that were operating quite safely and reliably?
- Why did he sell the idea to his population that they did not need nuclear power and could depend on purchasing ever increasing quantities of Russian natural gas instead?
- Could it possibly be related to his nearly instantaneous transformation from Chancellor of Germany to high muckety muck at the Russian natural gas supplier – Gazprom?
Inquiring minds want to know if this is being discussed in forums that I cannot find because I do not speak the language. If you can shed some light on this, please share your information with the rest of the Atomic Insights readers.
I have found some articles that talk around the issue some, but no comments that have come right out and said what I believe is true – the circumstantial evidence has convinced me that Schroder and his compatriots purposely worked to destroy the German nuclear power industry BECAUSE that they knew that they would PROFIT by the increased sales of natural gas in Germany.
In other words, they destroyed a valuable industry that is producing large quantities of a necessary input to other industries so that they could personally become wealthier.