Motion Detector No. 22: Nuclear Power – No Thanks?

Museum Europäischer Kulturen

In the Motion Detector series, the Museum Europäischer Kulturen (MEK, Museum of European Cultures) shows objects from its collection and loans on current topics that are moving people in Europe. The 22nd Motion Detector deals with the debate on nuclear power production. The presentation can be viewed in the lobby of the MEK until summer 2023.

Germany's phase-out of nuclear power production was planned for January 2023 by decision of the Federal Government. However, the ongoing war in Ukraine and the consequent energy crisis have put a stop to this. The new cut-off date is 15 April 2023. It’s been rescheduled! Or revoked?

The large-scale production of nuclear energy started in the 1950s. Bringing hope for the future, nuclear energy was widely celebrated.

Today, it accounts for about 25% of the energy demand in the European Union (EU) and as much as 70% in France. The country is home to half of the EU's 110 nuclear power plants. In contrast, 14 EU member states do without it altogether.

The anti-nuclear movement, active to this day, demanded the complete abolition of nuclear power from its very beginning. The movement established itself in the 1970s through activist’s campaigns and public protests. Even before the nuclear catastrophes of Chernobyl (1986) and Fukushima (2011), they pointed to the environmental and security problems that remain unresolved today: the reactor’s instability and the radioactive nuclear waste, hazardous for millennia.

Energy shortages and climate change have reignited the debate around nuclear power, as it is considered a ‘clean’ energy.