Sunday 4 December 2016

Anxious Germans snap up Geiger counters

Tony Paterson in Berlin

Published 21/03/2011 | 05:00

The crackle of the Geiger counter has not yet replaced the sedate hum of the Siemens vacuum cleaner in the average German household, but if current retail figures are to be believed, it may be on the verge of doing so.

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German consumers have suddenly acquired an insatiable appetite for the devices. The electrical goods giant Conrad reported last week that it had sold out of Geiger counters.

Fukushima in Japan is to blame, even though the nuclear disaster unfolding there is on the other side of the world.

Yet German atomic angst does not only manifest itself through impulse Geiger-counter buying. The same goes for iodine pills, which are supposed to limit the body's ability to absorb radioactivity.

They have sold out to such an extent that local health authorities have felt obliged to issue warnings cautioning people against taking too many.

For the past 30 years, Germany has been waging a "religious war" over the nuclear issue. Chancellor Angela Merkel's decision last week to shut down seven of Germany's 17 nuclear power plants makes it obvious that the anti-nukes are winning. (© Independent News Service)

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