Das Ende der Atomkraft

OXFORD – Japans Atomkrise und der nahende 25. Jahrestag der Kernschmelze in Tschernobyl haben die Debatte über die Angemessenheit von Atomkraft neu entfacht und schlummernde Ängste geweckt, die eine sich gleichzeitig abzeichnende nukleare Renaissance wieder aufhalten könnten.

Die Unsichtbarkeit radioaktiver Strahlung provoziert tief sitzende menschliche Ängste. Aber wie gut verständlich diese auch sein mögen, sie sind möglicherweise der falsche Grund, um gegen Atomkraft zu sein. Mehr noch als Sicherheitsfragen sprechen vielleicht noch schlagendere Argumente dafür, dass eine nukleare Renaissance weder wahrscheinlich noch notwendig ist: die Kosten.

Der Preis für Atomkraft steigt seit Jahrzehnten beständig. Seit 1970 sind die Kosten der Gewinnung neuer Kernenergie bei einem konstanten Dollarsatz um das Neunfache gestiegen, da zusätzliche Sicherheitsfunktionen die Konstruktion der Werke teurer machen. Innovationen wie Kugelhaufenreaktoren versprechen erhöhte Sicherheit, sind aber auch mit einem erheblichen, zusätzlichen Kostenaufwand verbunden.

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