German nuclear power plants are not safer than Japanese ones?

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In the opinion of opponents of nuclear power, German nuclear power plants are no safer than Japanese ones: can a super meltdown also happen in Germany?

As to the debate about the safety of the nuclear power plant in Germany, Jochen Stay, spokesman for the anti-nuclear organization "broadcast": "The safety in German nuclear power plants is by no means better than that in the Japanese reactors. Here and there, there are multiple and redundant security systems. Fukushima shows that in case of doubt they all fail.

The Isar-1, Philippsburg-1, Brunsbüttel and Krümmel nuclear power plants are basically identical to the reactors in Fukushima-Daiichi - with the difference that the German reactors are all larger than the Japanese ones. In the Krümmel nuclear power plant, for example, emergency cooling would have to dissipate three times as much heat in the event of an accident as in Fukushima-Daiichi-1, and far more radioactive inventory could escape.

The nuclear power plants in Japan were supposedly designed for earthquakes up to at least 7.75 on the Richter scale. Stronger earthquakes were considered unthinkable. The reactors in Germany are built much weaker - and do not even withstand the quake to be expected here. The Biblis B nuclear power plant is only designed for the weaker half of the earthquakes to be expected in Biblis. And the reactors at the Neckarwestheim nuclear power plant, including Block 2, which only went online in 1989, are on brittle limestone, which is expected to cause 30 percent more earthquakes than the permit allowed.

In Japan, a tsunami was needed to cause the so-called station blackout, the dangerous power failure in the nuclear power plant itself. As a result, the cooling then failed, causing the reactor cores to melt. There is no need for a tsunami in Germany - a simple storm is sufficient: eight times between 1977 and 2004, lightning or storm in a West German nuclear power plant led to the failure of important instruments, to the feared emergency power supply or even, as on January 13, 1977 to the Gundremmingen A nuclear power plant, to total damage . The older reactors in particular are in a particularly bad situation in the event of an accident: their cooling systems are weak, the individual lines, for example of the emergency power supply, are neither technically nor spatially separated.

Fukushima shows that the last protection against the escape of radioactive substances is the safety container. In Fukushima it is made of steel and surrounded by concrete. In almost all reactors in Germany, however, it is only made of steel - in the event of a serious accident, it threatens to burst quickly. In the older reactors, it is also much too small and its walls are rather thin. In the old boiling water reactors Isar-1, Philippsburg-1, Brunsbüttel and Krümmel, the bottom pan of the containment is also made of steel. The reactor core can melt them within minutes in the event of an accident. There would be no time for an evacuation. ”(Pm)

Also read:
Health: late effects from radioactive radiation
What do meltdown or super meltdown mean?
Radioactive radiation: consequences for health
Nationwide campaigns for the nuclear phase-out planned
Doctors are calling for the shutdown of all nuclear power plants

Image: Gerd Altmann,

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Video: Atom, mon amour Frances faith in nuclear energy. DW Documentary

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