World doesn't need N-energy: Prof Duerr

Barely two days before the first anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan, renowned German nuclear physicist and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Prof Hans-Peter Duerr, on Friday gave a clarion call “to get rid of nuclear energy as fast as possible.”

Prof Hans-Peter Duerr

It is not just concerns arising from Fukushima disaster, but based on a universal principle that “we should not have or develop and operate any techniques and technology which in their worse case of failure leads to something highly unacceptable,” Prof Hans said, making a passionate plea to dump nuclear power as an energy source at a function here late on Friday evening.

Speaking on “Nuclear Power and Energy Hunger”, the inaugural lecture organised by ‘TAG-VHS Diabetes Research Centre’ of the Voluntary Health Services in Chennai, the 86-year-old professor, who was student of the famous Physicist Heisenberg and who is Director Emeritus, Max Plank Institute for Physics, Munich, Germany, said though those in favour of nuclear energy justified it in terms of “some risks” that have to be taken, his over 40 years of working in this field showed such risks were not acceptable.

Arguing against nuclear energy, Prof Hans said that not only was its production chain “complicated and expensive, but also the requirement of higher safety standards increased estimated costs even more.

More importantly, as modern nuclear plants (other than the earlier older versions which Canada used to make) required enriched uranium, nobody had quite any idea of disposing the plutonium waste generated by such N-reactors.

Dismissing the idea that civilian (peaceful) and nuclear (military) uses of this energy source can be clearly separated as “rubbish”, Prof Hans bemoaned that the “worst part is that its civilian and nuclear use is very close together.”

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