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THTR Circular No. 155, December 2022:


Disasters as the new normal. Tipping points, domino effects and the coming collapse

Activities of the Citizens' Initiative 2022

Germany's uranium deals with Russia

Vahrenholt: From THTR fan to speaker at AfD Foundation

"Eco-nuclear power" from Austria for Slovenia?

Should and is. The Neverending Story of HTR in China

Book reviews

Dear readers!



Disasters as the new normal

THTR circular no: 155, December 2022

Only a few people actually expected that it could happen and yet it happened: Since February 2022, the world's largest nuclear power plant in Zaporizhia with six reactor blocks and three others and the decommissioned Chernobyl have become part of hostilities on the company premises in Ukraine. This highly explosive situation has not even been considered as a possibility in catastrophe scenarios.

The climate catastrophe will lead to intensified struggles over the distribution of resources and an increase in violent conflicts and wars worldwide, which may not stop at nuclear power plants and will lead to unstable extreme situations. The situation is already coming to a head.

multiple crises

But that's not all. In addition to the geopolitical tensions, the risk of war and possible nuclear catastrophes, we are threatened by a multitude of serious environmental and energy problems, food crises, pandemics, species extinction, financial system crises, social upheavals and other consequences of the climate catastrophe. All these crises are interrelated, influence and reinforce each other. Considered in isolation from one another by many specialists, catastrophes suggest an all too simple limited "solution" to a single problem and lead to an overly optimistic distortion of the view. The real world is not a collection of discrete risks.

In addition, malicious right-wing movements and governments in several large countries do not recognize climate and environmental catastrophes as an existential problem and are making the situation even worse. Discourses are poisoned as conspiracy narratives, confusion, blatant lies, and hate speech run rampant. They also prevent the most pressing issues from being addressed constructively.

Tipping points and domino effects

Boundaries that guaranteed the stability of our living conditions in the past have long since been crossed. The previous forecasts made by climate researchers have turned out to be alarmingly reliable and predict that the 1,5 degree limit will be significantly exceeded for the next few years and not just for the next generation. In addition, beyond the 2 degree limit, tipping points can be exceeded that cause irreparable fractures in the ecosystems. The consequences can be gigantic domino effects that will build up in a cascade in a short time and lead to massive collapses of industrial civilization.

The window of remaining possibilities to stop this development is closing in no time at all and obviously exceeds the mental horizon of most people in Central Europe, who believe that things won't get that bad and that a little more alternative energy, energy saving and new technologies could be used somehow solve the problem. But it's too late for that.

Even if theoretically all CO2 emissions and environmentally harmful processes were stopped overnight, the sins committed so far will retain their destructive power for decades to come. The authors of the book "How everything can collapse" (1), which has received much acclaim in France and has since been translated into German, write about the coming catastrophes: "It has become impossible for them not to take place!"

There is a lack of will and insight

The vast majority of people in industrial societies lack the will to really fundamentally change their lives. This includes in particular the areas of consumption, nutrition (abstain from almost daily meat consumption, which leads to 14,5% of greenhouse gas emissions!), mobility, energy and resource consumption.

A family in Hamm, which received a great deal of attention from the media, shows that even with a "smart" residential building with solar systems, some homeowners turn the original intention of using alternative energy into its grotesque opposite, which has actually automated every little thing in their house and spent a total of 232 ( !) operates devices and has laid 14 kilometers of cable (2)!

Digital technologies are not ecological. “Two years ago, the Öko-Institut calculated the carbon footprint of digital life. The use of television, smartphones and voice assistants is included, as is video streaming, the use of cloud services and social media. And even if this is often forgotten when calculating one's own life cycle assessment: the emissions from the manufacture of smartphones and laptops, for example. The researchers finally came to 2 kilograms of CO849 per person and year. Almost half of this can be traced back to device manufacture alone. (...) The production and use of digital devices and services currently accounts for around 2 to 8 percent of global electricity demand" (10). The energy consumption of Google, Youtube, Facebook etc. has tripled in the last five years, while for Sufficiency (long use, saving material, repairing) and a frugal lifestyle remain foreign words to most people.

Even "green" growth can be harmful

We can clearly see that even the economic slowdown caused by the pandemic-related lockdown was far from sufficient for the necessary reduction in greenhouse gases. The well-known taz business correspondent Ulrike Herrmann shows that "green growth" is an illusion. Not only electric cars, but trucks, ships and airplanes can only be operated with gigantic, expensive battery storage capacities in order to provide electricity in winter or when there is a lull. They would be better than petrol and diesel, but by no means climate-neutral.The number of cars would also have to drop from 50 million to 30 million.

"But it would no longer be "green growth" but "green shrinkage" if the car fleet were to decrease by 40 percent. Many employees would lose their jobs, as there are currently around 1,75 million people working directly or indirectly for the automotive industry in this country. You can also put the question differently: What should become of Baden-Württemberg?" (4)

According to Herrmann, climate change will not be easy: “It causes real costs, which are also very high because a completely new and very complex infrastructure has to be created. Green power will therefore remain scarce, making "green growth" an illusion. Green energy is not "economic", it is the only chance to survive on this planet".

So we are in an almost hopeless situation. Whether the world as we know it will be destroyed by material and energetic growth or whether we would decide to stop the self-destructive course and have to accept the most severe social and economic upheavals in this transformation: We only have the choice between collapse and collapse.

economic contraction

The fact that the energy and resource-consuming economy has to shrink and that decentrally organized actual alternative energy stands in contrast to conventional production methods and ways of thinking is not a new finding, but was clearly formulated back in the 70s and 80s.

In 1979 I quoted the libertarian ecologist Murray Bookchin in "Der Grüne Hammer" on "alternative" large-scale technologies: "Due to their dimensions they are conventional in an almost classical way" (5) and he emphasized: "Alternative technology is only ecological insofar as it diversity is conducive". Large, centralized, interdependent systems are very vulnerable in every respect and can collapse quickly, as we see today. That is why greater regionalization makes sense. In 1980, I also discussed the book journal "Alemantschen. Materials for radical ecology" in "Schwarzer Faden", which introduced the concept of an "economic contraction" into the discussion at the time, because "further economic growth will definitely be ecologically catastrophic" (6 ).

A large part of the people in Europe will still see all this as an impertinence and reject it. If you look at the fact that eight wind turbines are being destroyed in Lützerath in order to continue mining and burning lignite (7), it is clear where the journey is headed. In the coming catastrophic events, there will be more and more emergency regimes and democratic participation in decision-making will be restricted. State and international institutions are increasingly unable to act. Corporations, decision-makers and those involved in the construction and operation of nuclear and climate-damaging plants will then no longer even have to answer to the courts for their disgraceful actions. The global south will suffer much more from the catastrophes than the north. Poorer people stronger than rich. This is another great injustice.

What else can we do now?

If we don't want to give up, we have no choice but to act as if we believe in the success of our activities. We can try to minimize global risks, slow down destruction and industrial growth, mitigate global warming, adapt to changing living conditions, organize regional networks of mutual aid, build small systems of resilience at the local level. And hope that the tipping points are still a long time coming and that irreversible events will not occur quite so quickly, so that with a lot of luck a part of human civilization will be granted a modest "slow decline" with a chance of survival and not the (almost) threatened with complete extinction. 



(1) Well worth reading: Pablo Servigne, Raphaël Stevens “How everything can collapse. Handbook of Collapseology". Translated by Lou Marin. Mandelbaum Verlag. Vienna, €22, 316 pages. I will review this book for the next Libertarian book pages of the "Grassroots Revolution".

(2) Westphalian Gazette (WA) of October 27, 10








Activities of the Citizens' Initiative 2022

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This year's Fukushima vigil on March 30 on the market square in Hamm, which was attended by 11 people, was overshadowed by the war in Ukraine that had just started. A picture of the vigil was published in the Westfälischer Anzeiger (WA) and Horst Blume was quoted as saying: “We have previously warned that military conflicts have an impact on nuclear power. Fighting is currently taking place at 19 reactor blocks in Ukraine" (1).

One day after the Chernobyl anniversary, Vladimir Slivyak, Ecodefence activist from Russia and winner of the Alternative Nobel Prize, came to Hamm on April 27th. He is no longer an unknown in Hamm thanks to several lectures and speeches at rallies.

For this reason and as a sign of appreciation for his commitment, he was invited to sign the golden book of the city of Hamm in the town hall in the presence of Mayor Marc Herter and numerous visitors. On the same evening, Vladimir gave a very well-attended lecture in the Technical Town Hall, which was extensively reported in the local press. Among other things, he called for an end to the ongoing nuclear cooperation between Germany and Russia. The event was organized by FUeE Hamm, Amnesty International, BI environmental protection and the adult education center (see note 2, with report and pictures).

The planned lifetime extensions of three nuclear power plants were also discussed in Hamm. On August 4th, when the outside temperature was 34 degrees, the WDR called me to ask if I could make a statement at the THTR in Uentrop. I told the local newspaper: "Politicians, whose hobbyhorse for decades was to sabotage the energy transition, are now trying to make nuclear power socially acceptable again in Germany in the shadow of the Ukraine war. But the horse is dead". The broadcaster's moderation turned out to be extremely bad: "That was a report, a subjective impression. But today we also have real information for you".

This behavior clearly shows how quickly editors turn their flag to the wind when the war is used offensively by right-wing forces to stoke fears of energy insecurity. The "solution" is not a rapid expansion of alternative energy, but the use of nuclear risk technology.

In the daily newspaper "Die Gocke" on August 6, Matthias Eickhoff and I were able to set out our arguments against nuclear power plant lifetime extensions on a special page. That was certainly good Advertisement for the return to nuclear power So it's that quick to brush aside newly established knowledge about the dangers of nuclear power as soon as a cheap opportunity presents itself...

Nevertheless, various exhibition organizers, museums and organizations are aware of the decades-long commitment of the anti-nuclear movement and try to take this into account.

Since December 2021, there has been a large-scale and visually striking poster and exhibition on "civil disobedience" actions in the Martin-Luther-Viertel on Nassauerstrasse, with a special focus on the THTR resistance. 

From May 2023, the Hagen open-air museum will be showing a poster of ours from 70 in its special exhibition "Technology of the 1976s". – And there are other requests.

In the richly illustrated, large-format book "Atomic power, no thanks! 50 years anti-nuclear movement" (publishing house Ökobuch) is also reported on the THTR resistance (3). - Unfortunately, I fear that in view of the dramatically escalating climate catastrophe we will no longer have any time for conventional, long-term educational work .


(1) The text of the speech by Horst Blume:

(2) Report from the events:




Germany's uranium deals with Russia

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As a citizens' initiative, together with 26 other organizations, on the occasion of the G7 foreign ministers' meeting on November 3, 2022 in Münster, in an open letter to Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, we demanded that nuclear deals with Russia be stopped immediately. It is also about the fact that the state-owned company Rosatom supplies the fuel element factory in Lingen and the uranium enrichment plant (UAA) in Gronau with uranium. Here are excerpts from the open letter:

“On September 28 and 29, 2022, Russian uranium was delivered to the Lingen fuel element factory in Emsland for the first time since Russia’s illegal attack on Ukraine, despite international protests. This uranium factory belongs to the French group Framatome, a subsidiary of the state-owned energy group EdF. (...)

As is well known, Russian troops are occupying the fiercely contested Zaporizhia nuclear power plant in the Ukraine – with the technical support of Rosatom employees. So Framatome does business with the occupiers of Zaporizhia in Lingen – equipped with permits from German authorities. We consider that absolutely unacceptable. They are sending the signal that even the threatening prospect of a nuclear catastrophe in Zaporizhia is being accepted in order to keep business with Rosatom going.

But that's not all: Framatome Erlangen and Siemens Energy are working together in Hungary on the construction of the nuclear power plant in Paks, managed by Rosatom. Here, too, there was no rethinking after the destructive attack on Ukraine. Framatome also agreed a strategic partnership with Rosatom at the end of 2021, which has not been terminated to date.

In addition, Rosatom continues to supply around 20% of the uranium consumed in the EU, with another 20% coming from friendly Kazakhstan. (...)

Together with Great Britain, the Netherlands, Sweden and the USA, Germany is also directly responsible for the fact that the outdated nuclear power plants, which are now used as weapons of war, are still in operation in the Ukraine. The German-Dutch-British nuclear company Urenco has been supplying the enriched uranium for the fuel elements in six reactor units in Ukraine for several years - four of them in Zaporizhia! These fuel elements are manufactured by the US group Westinghouse in the Swedish fuel element factory Vasteras. Years ago, environmental organizations called for Ukraine to help with a renewable energy transition instead - in vain. Now the whole of Ukraine and half of Europe must bear the consequences of this wrong policy as nuclear hostages of the Kremlin." (...)





Vahrenholt: From THTR fan to speaker at AfD Foundation

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It is not without reason that some energy policy actors, as well as certain corporations and countries, have been under "special observation" in the THTR circular for decades. This is also the case in this case, where the farewell to the "social-democratic state reactor", as the THTR was often called in the past, prompted some SPD -Members still find it difficult.

In particular the Hamburg SPD environmental senator of the 90s Fritz Varenholt. In Circular No. 71 of October 2001 I pointed out that this "member of the Council for Sustainable Development at the Federal Chancellor" had spoken out in "Vorwarts" again for the construction and research of high-temperature reactors, even 12 years after the miserable failure of the bankrupt reactor.

In the meantime, Varenholt has become a denier of climate change. On October 27, 10, the taz-Nord wrote:

“The former Hamburg Senator for the Environment Fritz Vahrenholt (SPD) appeared as a speaker at the Desiderius Erasmus Foundation (DES), which is close to the AfD. As the Hamburg "Alliance against the Right" (HBGR) researched, Vahrenholt asked the question at an online seminar in June last year: "Is climate change taking a break? What consequences does this have for climate policy". In September 2021 he spoke on the same topic in Essen. (...)

With his theses on climate change, Vahrenholt is not only controversial in science - also in the SPD. On the website of the SPD environmental forum in Schleswig-Holstein there is an assessment by Michael Müller, the national chairman of the Naturefriends Youth - actually an account of the SPD member with his party friend. "Climate protection is a challenge to humanity, so it must not be a playground for busybodies," writes Müller. But the former environmentalist Vahrenholt, of all people, is fueling populist prejudices. He is "a kind of climate Sarrazin." (...) "The opponent of nuclear power (??, HB) became a supporter of lifetime extensions, and the harsh critic of environmental destruction became a climate denier," writes Müller Formulations such as "climate lie", "science-politics-zeitgeist" and "CO2-lie" represent far-reaching environmental policy findings of the climate council as "half-truths and conspiracies".





"Eco-nuclear power" from Austria for Slovenia?

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The notorious scandalous newspaper "Kronenzeitung" from Vienna trumpeted the following absurd headline on September 20, 9: "Research on eco-nuclear power is progressing". And indeed, the Graz-based company Emerald Horizon was able to present its concept for small thorium reactors (liquid salt reactors) on October 2022, 18 in the Austrian Parliament as part of the "Technology for future" discussion event.

The hedge fund manager and CEO of Emerald Horizon AG Florian Wagner was able to present the alleged advantages of the planned reactor on the parliamentary website. "He made it his mission to find an energy source that is ecologically clean, low-risk and reliable as well as economically efficient and effective."

The certainly completely selfless project has already raised funds for a prototype and is now raising money from investors for a demonstration reactor that is said to cost around 250 million euros. The aim is to make the nuclear waste generated worldwide usable for the power supply. “To this end, the company has already defined the neighboring countries that operate nuclear power plants as target areas. Slovenia is already part of the project. While the basic research is happening in Graz, the development of the so-called "loop" - where the actual decay of the thorium and the release of energy happen - is at the Jožef Stefan Institute (JSI) in Slovenia. A finished product should exist by 2031" (1 ) .

"Der Standard" quotes the nuclear expert Thomas Schulenberg that there is still no functioning thorium liquid-salt reactor worldwide and that there are still many problems to be solved and that it will take many decades before energy could possibly be produced with it. The "scientific services" of the On September 23, 2020, the German Bundestag wrote about the risk of proliferation in thorium liquid-salt reactors, among other things:

“In the thorium cycle, weapons-grade uranium-233 can be chemically separated. The strong gamma radiation from the decay products of uranium-232, which is always present alongside uranium-233, could make misuse as a nuclear weapon more difficult. The strong thermal radiation can damage other structural components such as the ignition system. Even if nuclear weapons could not be built from the nuclear waste, the radioactive radiation would possibly be sufficient for use in a terrorist weapon. (...) A reactor fueled by thorium would, according to the scientists, produce less long-lived radioactive waste than one fueled by uranium. This waste would radiate significantly more and make transport and storage more difficult. It is also unclear whether the concept can be implemented in 20 or 30 years at economically justifiable costs" (2).

Conclusion: A company, under the pretense of great intentions, wants to acquire funds and institutional support in various ways to start a new nuclear adventure, when all the means are needed to quickly achieve a real ecological energy transition in times of climate catastrophe. And because it is unlikely that a new nuclear power plant will be built in Austria, which is critical of nuclear power, they want to build it in neighboring Slovenia.






Should and is

The Neverending Story of HTR in China

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In 2021, the Chinese operators of the two high-temperature reactor units (HTR-PM) on the Shandong Peninsula (Shidaowan) issued a number of press statements about these reactors, which have been under construction since 2012. This year, however, the official voices fell silent and it is unclear what this means. In the last THTR newsletter I presented that the first block became critical on September 12, 2021 and the second on November 11, 2021. On December 16, 2021 World Nuclear News wrote


“According to CNNC (China National Nuclear Corporation), the HTR-PM will come online on January 15, 65 days after the second of the two reactors was commissioned. (...) A further 18 such HTR-PM blocks are planned for the Shidaowan site. Beyond HTR-PM, China is proposing an upgraded version called HTR-PM 600, in which a large turbine rated at 650 MWe will be powered by about six HTR-PM reactor blocks."

On December 21, 2021, WNN reported:

“According to China Huaneng, the connection of the first twin reactor of the plant took place on December 20th. The steam generated by the heat from the first reactor was used to drive the turbine. The first reactor is gradually brought up to full power and various tests are carried out before the second reactor undergoes a similar process. Current performance has not been disclosed. The Company anticipates that the twin reactor block will be fully operational by mid-2022."

From then on, nothing new could be found out about the Chinese HTRs for ten months, until October 4, 2022, when the German HTR sect’s comments on “Gauffrei”, which should only be enjoyed with caution, could be read:

“Regarding China, we learn that the two modules of the HTR PM with 70MWth and 20MWth respectively undergo a long series of commissioning tests, e.g. cold pressure up to the bursting limit, warm tests up to 450 degrees C, mechanical components, fuel loading licensed, criticality Comparison of forecast and ACTUAL. (...) Turbine test runs, ball loading system (there was only a little dust and splinters from the balls without fuel (probably because they were made from full graphite blocks)".

The reference to "only small amounts of dust and splinters" in the fuel elements clearly shows that the well-known weak points of this reactor line are still relevant today.

Military-civilian fusion with Germany

In May 2022, the research cooperation China Science Investigation, made up of eleven European media, revealed that a total of 48 German universities cooperate intensively with Chinese academic research institutions that are close to the military (1). These include the Research Center Jülich with 16, RWTH Aachen with 15 and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) with 21 cooperations. Some of these have conducted intensive research on the HTR line and pebble bed reactors up to the recent past and in the case of KIT to this day. As early as 1989, Lothar Hahn from the Öko-Institut pointed out in detail that HTRs are of the greatest military interest (2). The Small Modular Reactors (SMR) planned today are also explicitly intended for energy sources to be used decentrally to support acts of war (3).

The research cooperation emphasizes: “Most (approximately two thirds) of these publications by German researchers were published together with researchers from the Chinese National Defense Science and Technology University (NUDT). The NUDT is the most important university in the Chinese defense apparatus, reporting directly to the Central Military Commission, China's highest defense body" (4).

The taz explains in more detail: "One of the basic principles of the Chinese military is "military-civil fusion" (MCF). This includes, among other things, the lifting of barriers to commercial or academic research. In other words: China's military can - in an emergency - freely have access to the knowledge of private companies or scientific institutes" (5).

Wang Dazhong between FZ Jülich and dictator XI Jimping

On November 3rd, 11, Chinese President Xi Jinping presented the prestigious national science award to Professor Gu for the development of military stealth interceptors and to the now 2021-year-old Wang Dazhong for the development of pebble bed reactors and modular HTRs in the Great Hall of the People awarded.

Attentive readers of the THTR newsletter already know Wang Dazong because he worked on the HTR at the Jülich research center (6). It is significant and interesting how unabashedly and boastfully this research center still uncritically celebrates a reactor line that failed and stopped in Germany in its official newsletter 3/2021, written in German and Chinese. About Wang Dazong it says:

“In 1982 he was awarded a doctorate in natural sciences by RWTH Aachen University. From 1994 to 2003, he was president of Tsinghua University and the chief expert in the field of energy of the national medium- and long-term science and technology planning. (...)

In the past 20 years, he has research and development of gas-cooled
Actively promoted and managed high-temperature reactors. (...) From January 1981 to October 1982, Wang Dazhong came to the world-famous nuclear energy research base, the Federal German Nuclear Research Center Jülich, as a guest scientist. At that time, German scientists presented the concept of a new generation of modular gas-cooled high-temperature reactors, also known as pebble bed reactors, with high intrinsic safety (sic!).

Wang Dazhong has chosen the research topic "Design and Research on Modular Small and Medium-sized High Temperature Gas-cooled Reactor". After several months of intensive research work, he achieved results that the "father of the pebble bed reactor", Professor Rudolf Schulten, considered groundbreaking. Wang Dazhong received his doctorate after only one year and nine months at RWTH Aachen due to the exceptional quality of his work. Wang Dazhong increased the design performance of the intrinsically safe modular gas-cooled high-temperature reactor from 200.000 kilowatts to 500.000 kilowatts and therefore acquired invention patents in Germany, the USA, Japan and other countries - "A pebble bed reactor with safety and self-stability in severe accidents".

The never-ending story of the failure of this reactor line continues with this embellished tale. Previous findings and majority exit resolutions are thus ignored. Not because those involved are too stupid and unreasonable, but because they are selfish and self-interested and hope for profitable jobs and fat subsidies. In a world where the climate catastrophe is taking place, this is a dangerous anahonism!






(4) See under 1





Book reviews

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"The Kibbutz: Two Realities. Between libertarian utopia and outward oppression" in "Grassroots Revolution" No. 467. James Horrox: "Revolution lived. Anarchism in the Kibbutz Movement", Verlag Grassroots Revolution


“Remained in the brown room. Joseph Beuys and National Socialism" in "Grassroots Revolution" No. 472. "Ron Manheim: Taken at his word. Joseph Beuys and National Socialism", Neofelis Verlag



Dear readers!

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This year, our homepage " " turned 20 years old and is attracting more and more attention. A daily press review on the subject of energy certainly contributes to this. Happily, access has more than doubled in the last 12 months!

My homepage "" is just 10 years old and is also very well visited. It contains, among other things, over 120 longer articles on nuclear power and energy as well as hundreds of photos of our previous campaigns and activities.

The monthly magazine "Grasroots Revolution", which is also available in train station bookshops and with the help of which our citizens' initiative was founded in 1975, has turned 50 and is often quoted and highly regarded nationwide as an important organ of grassroots movements.



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