A nuclear power station in Austria now uses clean, safe nuclear energy -- the sun!
A nuclear power station in Austria now uses clean, safe nuclear energy -- the sun!

Greenpeace isn’t usually invited to hang banners from nuclear stations, but the Austrians asked us to do just that.  And how could we refuse?  It was to mark the conversion of the Zwentendorf nuclear plant into a solar power plant.

Thankfully the Zwentendor nuclear station was never put into operation.  In the 1970s Austria had plans to build up to six nuclear stations, but public opposition and a national referendum in 1978 meant that the Austrians never turned Zwentendor on.  The other plants were never built.

Here in Canada we’ve never had such an open debate on nuclear power and have been actively denied an opportunity to scrutinize the pro-nuclear policies of our federal and provincial governments.

In 2006, for example, McGuinty government rewrote provincial law to exempt its nuclear electricity plan from an environmental assessment, and undermine public scrutiny.

The McGuinty government also stubbornly refuses to divulge how much its new reactors will cost, probably because it knows nuclear would come out the loser in any transparent comparison of nuclear against green options.

Thankfully, others are showing that we can take a greener and more democratic path.

The Zwentendorf nuclear power plant has now been turned into Austria’s largest solar power station in Austria.

A beautiful testament to how the only safe nuclear power comes from the sun.