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Poem about the Chernobyl Catastrophe (May 23, 1986)

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Failure is part of our world.
There is no absolute safety.
All technology has its weak points.
Failure is human.
Not to reckon with failure
is irresponsible and inhuman.
The nuclear industry bets on technological miracles
that do not fail.

But they did fail.

Maybe German nuclear power plants
are twice as safe as the Russian ones.
So it will happen in eight years instead of four.
And Brokdorf is only about 40 miles from Hamburg,
Wackersdorf only 80 miles from Munich,
Biblis only 30 from Frankfurt.

Who will evacuate the people of Hamburg and where to?
Will the people of Munich be evacuated to Capri?
And the people of Frankfurt to the Canary Islands?

Everyone will be left alone.
Like this time.
The politicians will again be incapable
of doing anything.
They will downplay and placate.

No need to panic, they say.
Our worries are understandable, they say,
but absolutely unnecessary.
Above all everything should go on as usual, they say.
Only more safely now.
Nuclear power creates jobs, they say.

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