Tuesday, 29 March 2011


A Schrottmeiler is a nuclear power reactor past it's sell-by-date. You can liken it to the old banger on a used car lot; the heap of the week. A spray over to camouflage the extra welding or cover the patches of rust, a handful of sawdust in the gearbox, new rubbers on the pedals, and the clock wound back by 80,000 miles. And the guarantee; the next mug will buy it.

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?


  1. I see on the news at tea-time this evening that the situation with one Japanese site is getting worse and that increased iodine has been found as far away as Glasgow. When will we ever learn.

  2. Pat, this is alarming news!
    I heard only 2 days ago that increased radiation had been found in USA, and then today that several, I think it was 7, dead dolphins had been found not far away from there.
    You and I, in our advanced years, will probably be OK unless we get a heavy dose but what's with the babies, the young children, whose bones are still growing and taking-up this radiation. They have to pay for it!
    You ask "When will we ever learn?" - and the short answer is, so long as the greedy, the corrupt, the mendacious and the selfish inherit the Earth we will not move forward.
    But maybe, even now, there is a glimmer of hope. Maybe. Just maybe there's a straw somewhere here we can clutch.


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