Nobody does anti-nuclear campaigning quite like they do in Germany. Spectacular and inspiring are the words.

protest flags.
(c) Bente Stachowske / Greenpeace

Last year 50,000 people took to the streets of Berlin. Last weekend almost 150,000 people came out to show their opposition to nuclear power in the country. The centrepiece was an incredible human chain, 120 kilometers (75 miles) long, between the nuclear reactors at Brunsbuettel and Kruemmel. At the same time 20,000 people surrounded the Biblis nuclear power plant near Frankfurt.

Last year the plant manager at Kruemmel was fired. The reactor had only been running for two weeks - after a fire in a transformer in 2007 closed the plant for two year - when a short circuit in another transformer caused the reactor to shut down once again. The nuclear waste dump at Asse is being closed after it was declared unsafe.

Despite the country’s many nuclear problems, Angela Merkel and her government are looking to extend the lifetimes of Germany’s aging fleet of nuclear reactors. To say people aren’t persuaded by her - as demonstrated at the weekend - is an understatement.

- Details and video on the Greenpeace Germany blog and website.
- Reuters: German nuclear protesters form 75-mile human chain
- Deutsche Welle: Nuclear protesters form 120-kilometer human chain
- Earth Times: Protesters form 120-km human chain against German nuclear energy