A guest blog by Aslihan Tumer, Nuclear Campaigner at Greenpeace International
I've got a nuclear energy riddle for you:
What is dangerous, costs 5.5 billion euros, and may end in bankruptcy?
French nuclear giant AREVA's Olkiluoto 3 reactor, currently under (severely-delayed) construction in Finland.
The OL3 is an amazing construction project in so many ways: 4 years into the construction it is already suffering an amazing delay of more than 3 years, the costs have doubled from 2.5 billion EUR to the amazing amount of 5.5 billion EUR, and the OL3 project has single-handedly wiped out AREVA's half year profits. Yet - amazingly! - Areva is now demanding extra money on top of the agreed price from Finland.
Let's look at the situation from a different angle:
The roof of your home needs to be replaced and you have made an agreement with a contractor to replace it before the winter. Time passes. A bit more time passes. Then the date you had agreed the roof would be finished also passes. The contractor asks for more time, in order to be sure that everything is safe. More time passes. Then, suddenly - with the roof nowhere near finished - the contractor says he wants more money. And he's not going to finish your roof without that money. And if you don't like that - you can sit in a house without a roof and enjoy the winter weather.
What would you do? Hand over the money? Wouldn't you fire this contractor and warn your neighbors about him?
This is what cheap, reliable, safe nuclear energy is for you and all of us: a big fat lie. Yet there are many governments buying it - despite examples like AREVA's OL3 reactor. Read more about the amazing OL3 on Nuclear Reaction. This Saturday thousands of protesters from all around Germany are gathering in Berlin to make sure Germany will maintain its nuclear phase-out. I will be there, are you coming?
To get updates from Aslihan at the Nuclear protest this weekend please follow Greenpeace on Twitter!