Kernkraft in der Schwebe

WIEN – Ich werde oft gefragt, ob Kernenergie sicher ist. Meine Standardantwort lautet: „Ja – so sicher wie Flugreisen.“ Flugzeugabstürze kommen vor, doch sorgen hocheffektive Sicherheitssysteme dafür, dass sie äußerst selten sind – so selten, dass die meisten von uns in ein Flugzeug steigen, ohne sich darüber Gedanken zu machen, dass sie ihr Reiseziel nicht erreichen könnten. Dasselbe gilt für die Kernkraft, obwohl es stets Bedenken gibt, dass ein schwerer Unfall gravierende Folgen für Mensch und Umwelt haben könnte.

Diese Frage ist nicht nur von rein akademischem Interesse. Die Zukunft der Kernenergie wird eine der Schlüsselfragen sein, die im Dezember bei der Klimakonferenz der Vereinten Nationen in Kopenhagen diskutiert werden. Die globale Kapazität der Kernenergie könnte sich in den nächsten 20 Jahren verdoppeln. Dreißig Länder nutzen die Kernkraft bereits und viele von ihnen, darunter China, Russland und Indien, planen in ihren bisherigen Programmen eine große Ausweitung. Etwa 60 weitere Länder – die meisten von ihnen Entwicklungsländer – haben die Internationale Atomenergie-Organisation (IAEO) davon in Kenntnis gesetzt, dass sie an der Einführung von Kernenergie interessiert sind.

Kernkraft übt eine offensichtliche Anziehungskraft auf reiche wie arme Länder aus. Die Entwicklungsländer brauchen unbedingt Zugang zu Elektrizität, um den Menschen aus der Armut zu helfen und um eine nachhaltige Entwicklung zu sichern. In einigen afrikanischen Ländern beträgt der Elektrizitätsverbrauch pro Kopf ungefähr 50 Kilowattstunden im Jahr, verglichen mit durchschnittlich 8600 Kilowattstunden in den OECD-Ländern.

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