According to the Austrian Energy Agency, nuclear power is neither climate-friendly nor economical. A few decades ago, people saw things differently, including the German physicist Heinz Maier-Leibnitz. He was convinced of the benefits of nuclear energy. He was responsible for the construction of the first German research reactor at the Technical University of Munich, called the Atomei. He applied his experience at the neutron research center “Institut Laue-Langevin” in Grenoble at a tailor-made neutron source with highest fluxes.
The German Physical Society awarded him the Stern-Gerlach Medal for his work. Maier-Leibnitz received, among others, the Grand Cross of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Austrian Medal of Honor for Science and Art, the Bavarian Order of Maximilian for Science and Art, the Otto Hahn Prize for Chemistry and Physics of the DPG, and the Golden Ring of Honor of the Technical University of Munich. The Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize is intended to promote young scientists.