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Mad Maxatomstrom: Just Here for the Money

Except there won’t be much. Money that is. Because the Mad Maxatomstrom plan is to carpet-bag into Germany and try to sell them on nuclear energy and only nuclear energy. Yes, you read that right, Mad Maxatomstrom is Germany’s “first provider of 100 percent nuclear power.” (Okay, the company is actually called Maxatomstrom, but the business plan is so mad, who could resist?)

I say “carpet-bag” because notably all the “spokespeople” are anglo-saxon, most of them pulled from the Evangelical School of Nuclear Deniers. They are also all male and all white. Make of that what you choose.

It’s fitting that this new all-nuclear energy company was apparently launched by a member of Germany’s so-called Pirate Party (it has no members of Parliament.) When I first read the press release I thought it was a spoof. It’s also telling that the company could not find a single, prominent German spokesperson.

And I say “not much money” because there are so many other better and equally competitive, if not cheaper, electricity choices already in Germany, some of which are providers of 100% renewable energy. Germany-based anaylst Craig Norris ran the Maxatomstrom numbers and got “three different offers, each around 50 euros a month – an absolutely unremarkable outcome (it’s basically what I pay right now for 100 percent green power.)” So these pirates won’t really be doing so well in the plundering-the-German-people department.

Mad Maxatomstrom claims it already boasts 3,000 customers! Wow, that’s just a tenth of the amount of people still employed in Germany’s declining nuclear sector, and about 100th of the people employed in the growing renewable energy sector. The local Mom and Pop corner store probably does better.

The Mad Maxatomstrom electricity isn’t even German. It’s coming from Switzerland. So much for the wonderful energy independence that nuclear will bring you. It’s another bad business move because Germany’s export surplus is climbing from one record to the next. Importing power just isn’t necessary.

To say this is a public relations propaganda campaign (or, more likely, blunder), is an understatement. Switzerland, like Germany, is closing its nuclear power plants. So the idea to go 100% nuclear, as Mad Maxatomstrom proclaims, will be somewhat short-lived (2034 is Switzerland’s official date to close the last of its nuclear plants.) Even if that deadline is extended, the Swiss won’t be building any new nuclear power plants, so Mad Maxatomstrom’s supply will steadily dwindle to nought.

And of course Germans hate nuclear, which is why it is political suicide to be pro-nuclear in Germany, essential market research that the Mad Maxatomstrom people appear to have missed.

The so-called luminaries attempting to sell (or should that be “shill”) Mad Maxatomstrom are lightweights like Robert Stone who, having made a bad propaganda documentary about nuclear energy sees himself as some kind of expert. Also on the list is Patrick Moore, the notorious paid proponent not only of nuclear but the chemical industry, (as in bring back DDT), the genetic engineering industry, and clear-cut logging. (How does any self-respecting reporter still dare to refer to him as an “environmentalist”?) And then there’s the blinkered Barry Brook who wrongly claimed that North Korea never signed the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and buys the completely discredited IAEA-WHO death figure of 60 for the Chernobyl disaster.

The obvious conclusion is that Mad Maxatomstrom is another desperate, last-ditch attempt by the nuclear coven to cling on to a corner of the energy sector, at least in the mind’s eye if not in the actual marketplace. Or maybe it is just another uranium “fuel-injected suicide machine.”

Linda Pentz Gunter is the international specialist at Beyond Nuclear. She also serves as director of media and development.