German reactors an easy terror target?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

FRANKFURT, Germany, Nov. 3 (UPI) -- A German politician has called for shutting down seven nuclear power plants because they are not safe from a terrorist attack.

Hermann Scheer of the Social Democratic Party said Germany's seven oldest nuclear power plants should be shut down because their outer shells wouldn't protect the nuclear core against targeted terrorist attacks using kidnapped passenger planes.

Scheer also is the president of Eurosolar, a solar energy industry association. His call to shut down the plants is based on a study compiled by Eurosolar, the Berliner Zeitung newspaper reported.

The SPD chose Scheer to become economy minister in the state of Hesse, where the center-left SPD wanted to form a coalition with the Green Party. On Monday, coalition talks between SPD and the Greens failed after internal opposition within the SPD to such an alliance.

Joachim Pfeiffer, the energy spokesman of Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives, said it was good for Hesse that Scheer didn't get the power to make decisions for the state's energy future.

Scheer, whom Pfeiffer called an "eco-Stalinist," wanted to turn Hesse into a "socialist, coercively ecologic model country," Pfeiffer said in a statement Monday, adding that it was impossible to "phase out nuclear energy, forbid the extension and construction of conventional power plants and at the same time ensure an environmentally friendly, secure and affordable energy supply."

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