Berlin: Regional German authorities said
that they have given the green light to a novel scheme to
protect a nuclear power station from attack: fog grenades.
Under plans approved by the environment ministry in
the southwestern state of Baden-Wuerttemberg, the Philippsburg
power station could be shrouded in thick mist in 40 seconds if
an aircraft was hijacked in the area.
A spokeswoman for the ministry said that a pilot
scheme, which sees the fog grenades fired from special
launchers set up around the reactor, was running "decently" at
another nuclear power station.
A recent ruling by Germany`s top court that hijacked
aircraft could not be shot down also gave some impetus to the
scheme, the spokeswoman added.
The plans have been criticised, however, as being
insufficient since a plane`s navigation system could easily
direct a pilot to the power station without the need to see it
with the naked eye.
Germany decided in 2000 to mothball its 17 nuclear
power stations by 2020, but Chancellor Angela Merkel`s new
coalition government wants to extend the life of some
reactors, which produce around 30 percent of the country`s
Nuclear power is however unpopular among a public
worried about safety risks and the lack of a permanent storage
site for radioactive waste.