A question of power- my visit to the Nuclear Power Station Grohnde

  • Saturday, the 6th of June is a wonderful hot summer day. We drive in the bus through the idyllic landscape in the north of Germany: Green forests, cows grazing, yellow fields, small villages and on the horizon the two cooling towers of the nuclear power station Grohnde. STOP: A nuclear power station? Yes! Although we often repress it from consciousness, we've got still 17 nuclear power stations in Germany.

    Worldwide, 210 stations altproducing atomic energy exist.

    The towers draw near and some minutes later we stand directly in front of the station: A huge building consisting of the two cooling towers, the reactor, a building where the energy of the nuclear fussion activates huge turbines and buildings for safety and controll. Although I do stand in front of one of the world's most productive nuclear power station, I can just hear the singing of the birds. The process is noiseless and odourless; the nuclear radiation invisble but extremly dangerous. alt

    Exceptionally, me and the other young interested people are allowed to take a look in parts of the station that are extremly good controlled. After being checked for guns, a camera takes photos of our eyes and then, equipped with orange helmets, we start our round tour.

    How does a nuclear power station works?

    In the reactor, the atoms of uranium are splitted: That's  nuclear fission. Through this process, unbelievable much warmth is set free. This warmth activates the turbines. In this way, energy is produced. What's lasting, that's highly radioactive material. It's extremly dangerous, that's why the reactor is encased by 1,8 meters of  concrete and 30 cm of steel.

    When I see the huge turbines, 420000 kg each!, I can imagine how much energy is released when nuclear fission happens- unbelievable: An indiscernible atom powers a 420000kg  heavy turbine!!!

    Passing the reactor, I feel strange. I'm afraid. The radiation that could kill me is so near. But you can not measure a higher radiance near this nuclear power station-that's a fact- but it's also proofed that more people die because of cancer when living in the near of a nuclear power station or other places where nuclear materiel is uses (f.ex. hospitals).


    After the visit, we discuss about atomic energy. We are 14 people. 12 are against , 2 are for atomic energy in Germany. Here are some of the most important arguments:


    - What will we do with the highly radioactive material? It will definitely be a problem to make sure that it will be save for millions(!) of years. Besides the safety-problem, it will also be a problem to finace this storage.

    - A nuclear disaster such as the catastrophe in Chernobyl could happen. The chance that something like that with unimaginalbe consequences will happen in one of the 210 world's nuclear power stations during the next 40 years is 40%!!

    -When mining the uranium, the workes are extremly endangered; many of them die. If you're interested you can google, f.ex. uranium-niger!!


    - In the short run, this way to produce energy is cheap, compared to alterative energy. (But we should not forget the costs of the storage!)

    -During the process in the nclear power station, no CO2 is set free.

    -A nuclear power station works nearly without cease and, consequently, assures that the high energy requirement is always covered.

    -It will be a problem to stop with atomic energy overnight; that's why many people as well as politicans say that we should use atomic energy as a bridging technology . So, as an example, Grohnde will produce energy expected up to 2018.

    I dream of a world without nuclear power stations. Let's trust in alternative energies!

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1 Kommentar
  • LeLe
    LeLe Hi charlotti! Ja, ich kann dir nur zustimmen- das Risiko, dass ein Gau passiert, sollte man nie ausblenden, den es ist einfach da und lässt sich auch nicht wegdiskutieren! Auch für mich ist es echt schwer nachvollziehbar, wie man nach \'Tschernobyl\' wei...  mehr
    4. Juli 2010