Updated: May 21, 2022
By refusing to bring its prematurely closed nuclear power plants back to life, the German government keeps importing Russian natural gas, funding Putin's war machine. There's a good place to show the Germans that this must stop...
Activists of RePlanet sent a clear message to Germany's policymakers. (Photo: Rowan Farrell)
RePlaneteers projected a 200m high video of Ukrainian President Zelensky onto a shuttered nuclear power plant, calling for nuclear energy to be restarted to replace imports of Russian oil and gas. The action, organised by European and Ukrainian activists from our “Switch Off Putin!” campaign, took place at the Grohnde nuclear power station in Lower Saxony on May 19th.
Switching back on Germany’s three prematurely closed nuclear plants could replace around 25% of all domestic gas consumption or 9% of total EU consumption. Currently, 40% of domestic gas consumption currently is imported from Russia.
The projections, beamed directly onto Grohnde’s southern cooling tower, featured a video interview of President Zelensky given to the BBC last month in which he called European energy payments to Russia ‘blood money’. The projections featured the slogans: “Switch On Nuclear = Switch Off Putin” and “Why is this massive low carbon energy source closed?”
The action was covered by Die Welt. "It is absolutely ridiculous to leave this nuclear plant shut down." Watch their 2-minute-video here.
Switching back on Germany’s three prematurely closed nuclear plants could replace around 25% of all domestic gas consumption
Ukrainian RePlanet activist Natalia Lastovets says: “Nuclear energy is immune to fluctuating gas prices, which make it not only low-carbon and energy-effective, but also energy resilient solution. The Russian government is known for constant manipulation, power games, non-transparent corrupted energy trading, changing rules (like recent requests for payment for gas in rubles) and braking agreements. Thus, Russia is not a reliable partner in energy supply.”
Yes, it works! Beaming with pride. (Photo: Rowan Farrell)
German RePlanet spokesperson Florian Blümm says: “If we really cared about the people of Ukraine we wouldn’t hesitate in switching back on our nuclear power plants to help achieve a full embargo on Russian fossil fuels. The German public overwhelmingly supports this so what is Scholz waiting for?”
RePlanet's Switch Off Putin! campaign launched in April with a report outlining concrete steps to achieve an immediate boycott on Russian fossil fuels. These include suspending internal flights in Europe, lowering speed limits on motorways, turning down thermostats by 4C this winter and restarting closed nuclear power plants amongst other measures.
"Nuclear energy is immune to fluctuating gas prices, which make it not only low-carbon and energy-effective, but also energy resilient solution."
Polling undertaken in April in support of the campaign by polling company Savanta ComRes found that 56% of Germans and 70% of Europeans supported an immediate embargo. 52% of Germans and 65% of Europeans supported ‘going all out on building new nuclear energy’ and 55% of Germans supported restarting closed nuclear plants vs only 26% who disagreed.