SLOVAK WORD OF THE WEEK

Jadro

THERE are three reasons why after the tragedy in Japan one would expect “jadro” (nucleus) to be Slovakia’s word of the week – firstly, Chernobyl is right next door, in neighbouring Ukraine. Secondly, Slovakia’s other neighbour is Austria, where the anti-nuclear lobby is especially strong. And thirdly, the country gets more than half of its electricity from nuclear power plants. France, with 75 percent, is the only EU country more dependent on nuclear energy.

Nuclear energy is not an issue for most Slovaks.Nuclear energy is not an issue for most Slovaks. (Source: Sme - Pavol Funtál)

THERE are three reasons why after the tragedy in Japan one would expect “jadro” (nucleus) to be Slovakia’s word of the week – firstly, Chernobyl is right next door, in neighbouring Ukraine. Secondly, Slovakia’s other neighbour is Austria, where the anti-nuclear lobby is especially strong. And thirdly, the country gets more than half of its electricity from nuclear power plants. France, with 75 percent, is the only EU country more dependent on nuclear energy.

Yet there is complete silence. When asked whether developments in Japan frighten locals, Miroslav Remenár, mayor of one of the villages in the immediate proximity of the Jaslovské Bohunice power plant, replied: “People don’t care at all. It doesn’t even occur to anyone that something like this could happen here.”

A poll on the Sme.sk news website showed that 76 percent of people aren’t concerned that the problems of the Japanese nuclear reactors could in any way threaten Slovakia.

And all political parties without exception continue to support the use of nuclear power. Sure, there are some activists who try to start a debate on the potential threats, but with little luck.

How can this be? It’s because in Slovakia there is one kind of power that has a longer tradition, broader support, and that often leads to more impressive results than the power of the nucleus: the power of apathy.


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