The Italian (and other) authorities were in a state of alert after a reported malfunction yesterday at the Slovenian nuclear power station. Nuclear energy is clean and efficient but the downside is the ever present threat of another Chernobyl. You don’t think about this kind of thing when “nuclear” happens to other people. A bit like fireworks storage – the closer you live to a store the more worried you are about legislation and this kind of thing. Here in Luxembourg we have a nuclear station as our neighbour – it is the one at Cattenom (see picture) which can be seen as you cross the border in the direction of Metz. As long as I have been here (4 years for my sins) there has only been one rumour that did not even reach Luxembourg. We were casually told that children in schools in Metz were sent back home because of some reported damage at the station – for every one else (including all of Luxembourg) no precautions.
It’s not nice to know that your future could be wiped out by some nuclear cloud or whatever form the threat may take. “Nuke-ular” Energy (as Bush loves to call it) is not as rare in Europe as one may think. Some countries have it and some countries want it. Libya got it thanks to France. Iran and Syria have not asked politely so they are suspected of wanting it for more than firing up their stoves. With the increasing price of fuel and the search for alternative energy nuclear energy seems to be posed to be a double-edged sword for many years to come.