German sociologist Ulrich Beck, who was appointed to Chancelor Merkel’s special commission, explains the German decision.  From his piece:

It would be utterly mistaken to imagine that Germany’s political decision to phase out nuclear energy means that it is turning its back on the European concept of modernity in favor of the dark forests, the obscure roots of German intellectual history. This is not simply the latest outburst of Germany’s proverbial love of the irrational, but rather proof of its faith in modernity’s adaptability and creativity in its dealings with risks it has itself generated.

In a very short but thoughtful opinion piece, Beck goes on to argue that it is not only the best practical decision, but will also promote the democratic process.

By the way, did you know that Whole Earth Catalog editor Stewart Brand supports nuclear power?