tv Made in Germany Deutsche Welle June 19, 2019 2:30am-3:01am CEST
i can't say i was here for the start but the anti-nuclear movement in germany was born in the 1970 s. these protests planted the seeds for the government led shift away from nuclear energy and nearly 3 decades later for many of the people who went out to hit the streets it was a clear victory but was there really a climate crisis has forced many experts to reconsider nuclear energy i made even worse i'll turn it it after all has a much lower carbon footprint than many other conventional power sources today made it we ask ourselves why not nuclear but let's back up back in 20 alive and it became all too clear just how dangerous nuclear energy could be after a tsunami led to one of the biggest meltdowns in history the company behind the plant has struggled ever since to come back. tepco the company responsible for the 2011 fukushima nuclear disaster more than 160000 people had to be evacuated the
zone around the facility is still sealed off but tepco is still pursuing nuclear power with the blessing of the japanese government as you know as you well we learned from fukushima that nuclear power carries great risks but we believe that it is possible to operate nuclear power more safely. tepco is preparing to open this nuclear power plant just 300 kilometers away from fukushima the local community is divided. us company will never change they'll keep making the same mistakes. nuclear power plant operators are aware of their image and tend to shy away from the media but our reporter canadarm managed to convince an official from tepco to agree to an interview he's convinced the technology can be made safe and wants to start reactivating plants taken off line after fukushima however people who live close of them aren't so sure. i'm standing in front of what may be tepco last
chance the. nuclear power plant obtaining permission to film inside it took a long time for the past 7 years all the plant's reactors have been idle now tepco wants to restart 2 of them the energy provider is in financial trouble and needs to pay for the consequences of the 2011 disaster in fukushima of course and. we learned from fukushima that nuclear power carries great risks but we believe that it's possible to operate nuclear power more safely. does occur we can reduce the amount of radioactive material released 215-0000 of the material during 4 shima. a government safety test has confirmed this with me. at the time i proudly shows off the new safety measures watertight doors in case of
a tsunami. additional struts to make the building more earthquake proof and filters to prevent radioactivity from escaping. what surprises me is that so many of these safety measures weren't there in the 1st place these floodwalls for example the reactor buildings are right next to the sea and the walls are supposed to withstand it's an army like the one in fukushima a fleet of diesel generator trucks stands ready on higher ground in case of power blackouts and the company's own fire trucks are there to put out places. but outside the nuclear plant not everyone in the surrounding towns is convinced of the power plant safety. i meet up with one of the few critics prepared to speak openly.
even if there isn't an earthquake the ground beneath the power stations geologically unstable. this is no place for a nuclear power plant they can't even clean up fukushima. i don't think anyone trust them when they say they can restart the power plant. in fact in 2007 a major earthquake triggered an emergency at. all the reactors had to be shut down the safety measures were insufficient and radioactivity leaked a fire started outside one reactor. tepco has yet to clarify the details of the fukushima accident i wonder how it's going to guarantee safety here they have already been several incidents during construction work for the restart the flood wall turned out to be unstable cables caught fire and radioactive water leaked inside one of the idle reactor buildings. in the city of kashi was ocky opinions
differ as to whether the power plant should be put back into operation. in the most recent regional election about 50 percent of voters here chose an anti-nuclear candidate but few people will openly tell me anything negative about the power plant. everyone here knows someone who is connected to it. like sushi shift. just let them restart the reactors maybe i'll get a few more customers but i doubt it'll be bustling every time i hear about the latest incidents i think to myself not again it's one step forward 3 steps back but i wish they would be much more careful. and detailed evacuation plans are still in the works numerous incidents have delayed construction when will the power plant be back on the grid if at all no one
responsible could give me an exact date. japan is still using nuclear power it has a total of $48.00 nuclear reactors and japan is far from alone many other countries rely heavily on the technology for study power supply in the u.s. they're close to 100 nuclear power plants and some european countries are also highly dependent on them and runs 3rd $58.00 the fukushima disaster slowdown and in china but nuclear power is growing there are 2 with many plants under construction russia has relied on nuclear power since of the soviet days there are 36 plants there even oil rich saudi arabia is planning to put up nuclear plants to meet its future energy needs. the aftermath of the fukushima disaster germany 2 of them meant to decision to abandon nuclear power 10 power plants have
been decommissioned in the country since then well the deadline to shut them all down by the end of 2022 but does that still make sense in a world made more complicated by climate change to have clean air and keep rising sea levels as low as possible we need energy sources that emit as little c o 2 as possible so does nuclear energy really offer the climate advantages that its proponents claim we decided to check it out. nuclear power could save the global climate sounds implausible but in the current climate debate that's exactly what supporters of atomic energy are claiming they say d one truly green energy you'll get it from nuclear power plants they generate electricity with 0 c o 2 emissions. compare that with coal fired power plants for one kilowatt hour of power they emit more than a kilogram of carbon dioxide the i.p.c.c.
the un's intergovernmental panel on climate change says more nuclear energy is needed to keep global warming to the ambitious target of less than $1.00 degrees celsius by 2050. nonsense say opponents no nuclear power plant has 0 c o 2 emissions building a plant mine in the us any and transporting it all that emit c o 2. in germany alone that amounts to 2400000 tons of c o 2 annually about as much as the emissions from a 1000000 passenger cars. replacing c o 2 and making power plants would require some $1000.00 new nuclear power plants worldwide says the international energy agency $1000.00 new power plants is that realistic it would cost at least $7000000000.00 euros to build each one and probably more safety standards a gross stricter. in order for the electricity generation to
breakeven operators of the new power plants would have to charge 12 euro cents per kilowatt hour compared with $0.06 for wind generated electricity. c.e.o. 2 emissions but higher electricity prices. would be willing to foot the bill. well having to foot the bill is never popular but let's step back and look for a 2nd at the heart of this debate adams splitting them releases large amounts of energy but also deadly radiation a risky technology that's only still pursue it because of the possibly worse problem presented by climate change some people say the nuclear advantages outweigh the disadvantages in the u.s. it has more proponents than here in germany and many more startups researching the technology and its undeniable risks. is this the future of nuclear power for now it's just
a model but the oregon based company new scale power says yes it's design small modular reactors or f.m.r. is not our smaller safer are cheaper than current it basically consists of a small reactor vessel which has everything that you need for power generation that sits inside of a small containment vessel that sits under water below ground so it's a very simple concept. the company already has a control room simulator private investors after a u.s. department of energy have put hundreds of millions of dollars into development new scale with find it in 2007 at bounce real world testing is still to come. the process of getting a new design license and certified in the united states this is really rigorous so we spent almost 40 months. about 40 months going through this review process that involved extensive testing. as i mentioned. there's
a lot of a lot of effort involved in getting a technology approved and making it available. lucas who shells out also believes in a future for atomic energy technology the physicist does research at the max planck institute for plasma physics and guys in northern germany. they've spent 9 years working on an experimental reactor called a stellar a share it's based on a different technology nuclear fusion rather than the fission technology that new scale and conventional plants use today in principle nuclear fusion releases huge amounts of energy it's modeled after the reactions that produce the energy from the sun. and there are a lot of ways to approach that question for exam. the raw material for it is available all over the world so there wouldn't be battles over resources like oil
or uranium it's safe and it c o 2 free. ok. who do you shows that his colleagues still don't know at what temperature the fusion reaction will run that. it's just one of the key questions that still need an answer. he's often asked whether nuclear fusion will ever be a viable way to generate energy. that question doesn't really occupy me as long as the technology works it's very unlikely that we won't have a use for it even if we could cover our energy needs with solar cells or whatever they'll still be applications where we'll want to draw on a consistent and steady source of energy. and. this is the fusion centers controlled room in 28100 scientists came here to carry out terror safety is an important question another is nuclear waste.
all the materials are chosen to have a short decay time shorter mean several decades or centuries at most that's very little in comparison to the highly radioactive waste from conventional nuclear power plants it's still a long time yet but it's manageable. scale small modular reactors would also produce nuclear waste each of expected to cost around $300000000.00 whether they turn out to be a commercial success will depend on have faith the technology is in this design under the worst case conditions the reactor will simply shut itself down without any operator action without any computer action with ac or d.c. power and remain cool for a limited period time without the need to water. some experts are still skeptical of a. the safety of the many mobs you'll. put new power plants whether using nuclear fission
or fusion might end up in operation sooner than we think. the scientists working on the market been there innovations could help address the climate crisis. here's another problem clogging up the debate what to do with the waste which is radioactive and stays that way for thousands of years at a house to be stored safely deep underground a lot is currently kept in old mines but that's just a stopgap measure in about 4 years the last nuclear power plant in germany is set to go offline but what to do with the waste the plants have generated over the decades our reporter christian press a guest went to check out a repository that's being built for the ages. starting in 2027 radioactive nuclear waste will be stored in this disused iron mine then these huge tunnels will be closed off with walls of cement and the waste will
be left to decay the idea is that this final repository nears its guetta will be able to contain the radioactivity for 300000 years. thomas law which is the technical manager here he's overseen the conversion of the concord mine into a functioning storage facility. and now i have the chance as a journalist to visit the construction site nearly a 1000 meters below ground i have to carry a self rescue kit if necessary they will supply an oxygen to protect me against deadly mine gases. the tunnels extend for many kilometers iron ore was mined here for more than a century until 976. we drive through the labyrinth of passageways. a journey through millions of years of rock and
clay strata. no don't jump no jumping. strict safety regulations are observed down here now it's his father was a miner and he followed in his father's footsteps to become a mining engineer today he's responsible for a 1000 employees for few when i started working in mining 40 years ago i never thought i'd end up running a mine that was my dream but you never think it will happen as a work of germany still has 7 operating nuclear power stations nuclear waste has been piling up for more than 60 years a safe way of storing it has to be found beneath layers of clay hundreds of meters thick and the engineers are building storage chambers that will need to remain dry long term. the radioactive material that will be stored here is low to intermediate
level waste much of it is rubble from disassembled nuclear power plants the waste containers will be stored in chambers like these and sealed off with cement the big danger is rain or groundwater entering the chambers so that radioactivity leeches out and contaminates the soil. that's it's easier to get safeguarded by barriers and the main barrier is against thick layer of clay that lies over the top of this mine what does it hold back the head it prevents the groundwater from entering the mine or contaminants from the mine seeping into the groundwater it keeps them separate and us. the site has to be completed by 2027. tunnelling machines through the earth there are expansion joints overhead because the rock is moving. in congress in the us and the joints allow
a little bit of give they let things move a bit to stabilize the situation this is the principle of underground cavity mining we spray here and anchor it down there. underground it's 30 degree celsius shot create or sprayed concrete is used to line the tunnels the repository is expected to cost $4200000000.00 euros 60 percent of it is financed by the nuclear industry and the rest by the german taxpayer all of this is just for low and medium level waste it will be even more difficult for lunch to find a site where highly radioactive fuel rods from nuclear power plants can be stored. in finland is far ahead they've decided on a location for a repository to be operational and 3 to 4 years they're building a final storage facility for high level. next. it seems incredible that only one
country should have a final repository for spent fuel rods in view of the $450.00 nuclear power plants worldwide. back above ground this former iron ore mine is unsuitable for high level radioactive waste for that another location has to be found. which is familiar with the repository in finland it's almost finished and should be filled within the next few years it's a huge challenge in a storage facility be made safe for a 1000000 years because only then will the radioactivity from the high level waste have to cater to acceptable values. is supposed to come up with a site in germany comparable to the finnish one. it will have to be earthquake proof and it must be possible to retrieve the waste at any time. in a form to come you can only look forward when you understand what's behind you here in the conrad mine we've just been in
a deep deposit over 150000000 years old it's been there so long so if you can look back 150000000 years you can imagine 1000000 years from now. germany is set to close all of its nuclear plants by 2022 and then as the country shifts to renewables it will have 10 years to find the right location for the final disposal of its high level radioactive waste. reprocessing waste is one of the most dangerous aspects of using nuclear energy that's what's done in facilities like the law ugh nuclear recycling and reprocessing plant in france that's been around for 50 years and has seen its share of dangerous incidents and there are also claims that the site regularly contaminates local groundwater it's a risky business a profitable. spent nuclear fuel has to be kept cool in pools
and kept in special containers because it's still highly radioactive it either has to be stored somewhere safe for all eternity processed and recycled that's what goes on at the nuclear recycling and reprocessing plant. it's on the northwest coast of france 3000 people work here it's one of just 3 facilities like this in the world. and the other engineers process $1200.00 tons of spent fuel rods a year. this is where they're 1st taken apart. the plant turns a profit business is good and is even growing again. countries such as china want to build more nuclear power plants. major player in the industry the united states and japan also want new plants despite the disaster at fukushima many countries are keen on nuclear power. the rods spent 3 years in these
pools to cool off the come from power plants in france and it's far. better than broke into small pieces mechanically. or not allowed to film and the part of the facility where the actual reprocessing goes on the reprocessing results in 3 products that the customers have to buy back 4 percent is highly radioactive waste that's melted in the class like this it will end up in long term storage in a secure facility. one percent is plutonium which can be used in power plants to make nuclear weapons. 95 percent is your am it can also be used in power plants but 1st has to be enriched. 10 percent of france. the gene is generated using the uranium that we recycle here.
but environmentalist particularly greenpeace point out that is polluting the environment about a 1000000 liters of radioactive waste is discharged into the english channel every day. dilution makes it less hazardous the operator of law alex says the radiation remains well within the legal limits. but people here are nonetheless worried they fear that by eating fish and seafood from local waters there in just being radioactive substances but i don't think radiation is good for animals or for humans. we have to give up nuclear power i realize that will take time but they've been dragging their feet for ages all of a city stronger if we do. we need alternative energy sources so we can eventually replace nuclear power. but right now we simply don't have them in france
the germans are way ahead of us you're doing much better than we are who put new should know. about 3 quarters of france electricity comes from nuclear power plants and nuclear power will remain a dominant part of the energy mix for decades that means minimizing radioactive emissions i'd like. to remain a priority. one thing is clear we need to find solutions that will meet energy needs but also keep emissions down those nuclear power have a future what do you think if you're one of those people who thinks that doesn't this should interest you car sales and roller coasters aside that's now all about fun and games protests kept this nuclear plant which was completed in germany in the 1980s from ever going online since then it's been turned into a fun park. looks
life with autism. i want to. learn not is the coffee bomb from the imus in the system in touch led to its name to brazil's most populist outrage now it's grown on another scale with lots of canned colds. intuitionist almost done but no the traditional way of sustainably and free of pesticides but they struggling to survive in the face of mass production. 2090 minutes on d w. must be. explained. to thank you. with a sense of. recognize. and experience inexpressible. the
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