When it comes to buying electricity generated from nuclear power plants the situation in many countries is no better. There are Schrottmeilers (Schrott, by the way, is the German word for scrap metal) to be found all over that part of Eastern Europe that was, like Chernobyl, behind the old Iron Curtain.
One Schrottmeiler, working erratically between shutdowns, this time in Bulgaria, was featured recently on TV. It appeared to be in a state of advanced neglect and decay. Your garden shed probably has better wiring and fuses.
And to think that we all thought and believed that the IAEA went around the world checking the safety aspects of these 40-year old heaps of electrical junk. It's laughable now but we really did think and believe it. We thought it was what the IAEA did. They gave us the impression that's what they did; that they were the experts. Yes, we the people really thought the IAEA protected us against the nuclear industry's worst excesses.
What gullible fools we were!
The crisis in Japan has now forced the German leader Merkel to quickly backtrack on her original plan to keep Germany's old Schrottmeilers in extended service. But will others follow her lead?