Nuclear Energy is Dangerous Energy; Greenpeace activists picket ‘IndoNuclear 2007’ conference

Feature story - April 9, 2007
JAKARTA, Indonesia — Greenpeace activists today picketed the high-profile’ IndoNuclear 2007’ conference In Jakarta, with banners proclaiming : “Nuclear Energy = Dangerous Energy” to protest against the false and dangerous solutions being discussed at the conference to meet Indonesia’s electricity requirements. Indonesia is fast-tracking plans to build its first nuclear reactor in Jepara, on the island of Java, where an earthquake killed more than 5700 people in May 2006 and where the Mount Merapi volcano is threatening to erupt.

Greenpeace Southeast Asia CLimate and Energy campainer Nur Hidayati explains to journalists the dangers of nuclear energy during a protest held by GPSEA Indonesian activists protest the false and dangerous solutions discussed at the "Indonuclear 2007" conference held at the Sultan Hotel in central Jakarta, Indonesia on April 2, 2007.

"Nuclear energy is an inherently dangerous option for our country.  Let's not forget that Indonesia is located in the main volcanic chain of the planet, known as 'Pacific ring of fire' and at the joints of main global tectonic plates, which makes it vulnerable to earthquakes" said Energy campaigner Nur Hidayati of Greenpeace, "It is a moral and ethical obligation for the Indonesian government not to put the lives of millions of Indonesian citizens and future generations at risk, not in the name of the advancement of technology, and especially not for the short sighted interests of a handful elites."

Besides the dangers of accidents and unresolved issues of nuclear waste storage, building a nuclear plant involves enormous financial and opportunity costs.  A single reactor would cost billions of dollars, putting a major claim on scarce financial resources, thereby hindering clean, safe and far more economical renewable technologies. The result will be more problems and less energy.

Hardly any of the currently 435 commercial nuclear reactors in operation world-wide were built within the planned time frames or budgets, and competitive

electricity prices could only be achieved by price regulations, direct and indirect subsidies to the production of nuclear power, an extreme limitation of

liability in case of accidents, externalizing most environmental costs of uranium mining and fuel production, and heavily subsidizing a large part of the

back-end costs especially the costs of waste processing and storage.

"Time and again, we are seeing the club of 'donor' countries led by the US and Japan, cynically pushing their own commercial interests on countries like

Indonesia under the guise of combating climate change. But the claim of the nuclear industry that nuclear power emits low levels of Co2, and other greenhouse gases is not based on scientifically verifiable evidence. According to a recent report by Oxford Research Group, nuclear plants may not generate

carbon dioxide while they operate but the other steps necessary to produce nuclear power, including the mining of uranium and the storing of waste, result

in substantial amounts of carbon dioxide pollution." Added Nur Hidayati.

"We  need real energy solutions that actually work, not a whole new set of imported nuclear problems. Indonesia can have a clean, sustainable and peaceful

energy future built on renewable energies and energy efficiency, In the real energy markets, renewable energy has succeeded where nuclear has failed: to

deliver new capacity to people who need energy," she concluded.

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