In the wake of the EU energy report, Angela Merkel has reaffirmed that her government will stand by the deal that they made with their coalition partners when she was elected. Her party will not back out of the agreement to begin shutting down nuclear power plants. However, she apparently is working hard to convince her partners and her populace that they should think long and hard about the consequences of proceeding with the process of shutting down well functioning reactors just because they thought it was a good idea back in 2000.
I love the way that her comments are being translated in the US – I presume that it is a reasonably accurate interpretation of the original German language statement:
Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose election campaign called the phase-out “disastrous,” sparked debate when she said this week that Germany needed to consider the consequences of the shutdown deal, reached in 2000 when the anti-nuclear Greens were part of Germany’s governing coalition.
“It remains a fact that the phase-out has consequences and that we must not have a ban on thinking,” said Merkel. She added that “especially those who say we don’t want nuclear energy must take part in finding answers.”
She is absolutely correct; the last thing that the world needs at this point is a ban on critical thinking.
The German political situation with regard to nuclear power reminds me of a frequently repeated phrase at my “day” job that really gets under my skin. When I question some decisions that are not working out so well, there are some people who reply, “That train has left the station; it is time for you to get on board.” I generally respond with some kind of comment about lemmings and cliffs or about the fact that even a train needs course changes now and again. It is good to be in a terminal rank position at times.