On May 30, 2011, shortly after the devastating reactor catastrophe in Fukushima, Angela Merkel announces the phase-out of nuclear energy in Germany. Her confidence in nuclear energy is so shaken that she no longer sees safety guaranteed for the Federal Republic. The goal of the phase-out: shutting down all German nuclear power plants by 2022. Germany is the first major industrialized nation to dare to take this step and wants to become a pioneer for other countries.
The mammoth energy policy project is on the home stretch. But hardly anyone in Europe is following Germany’s lead. Numerous nuclear power plants, e.g. in France and Belgium, are located directly on the border with Germany – and they will continue to operate for the time being. Completely unimpressed, these countries are pursuing strategies on the nuclear issue that thwart German interests. So what is the security situation in Germany after its own nuclear phase-out? Has it really become safer here in the country, as politicians have promised?