A radiant future was predicted to Nuclear energy until the word “radiant” acquired a negative connotation after the Chernobyl accident in 1986. Then, 10 years ago, a violent seaquake off the Pacific coast of Japan triggered a tsunami. The Fukushima Daichii nuclear power plant lost power and suffered three meltdowns.

The reactor accident in Fukushima was the beginning of the end for nuclear energy in Germany. Soon after, Chancellor Merkel announced the phase-out of nuclear energy. Eight nuclear power plants were shut down immediately, and the last ones are scheduled to go off the grid by the end of next year. Renewable energies now produce almost half of our electricity. Because of climate change, however, there are now also new calls for the “exit from exit” of nuclear power. Was the decision to phase out nuclear power the right one at the time?

emergenCITY program area lead Prof. Michèle Knodt gives her assessment of the future of nuclear energy and Germany’s nuclear phase-out in an interview on HR Info.