The nuclear fallacy

Why nuclear power is part of the problem

Background - 3 May, 2007
Nuclear power remains dangerous, polluting, expensive and non-renewable. More nuclear power means more nuclear weapons proliferation, more nuclear-armed states, more potential "dirty bombs" and more targets for terrorists. It also means less resources invested in real solutions to growing energy demands.

The Sellafield nuclear complex, in the United Kingdom.

Renewable energies, on the other hand, have truly limitless sources,can be more easily deployed in remote, underdeveloped regions, presentabsolutely no risk to global security and are environmently friendly.

Windpower, as an example, is the fastest growing energy source in theworld, and is now far cheaper than nuclear. For the same investment,wind generates more electricity, and offers more jobs. In recent years,over 6,000 megawatts of wind generation have been installed every yearin Europe, the equivalent of two or three large nuclear power plants.By comparison, only one nuclear reactor has been built in the past sixyears, and it will take at least another five to build the next. In theUS, the last new reactor was ordered in 1978.

Furthermore,nuclear is not a renewable energy source, as it needs scarce uranium tofuel its reactors. If we would replace all fossil fuels with nuclearpower, the world would run out of uranium in less than four years.Currently, nuclear is a marginal energy source, supplying only twopercent of the world energy demand, and there is no realistic scenarioin which this could be significantly increased.

Because there isonly a finite amount of investment available for new energy, anyinvestment in nuclear power is effectively money denied to renewablesand energy efficiency. Nuclear power, with fifty years of failure asits track record and still no solutions to its fundamental problems,remains a shockingly poor investment choice. The wise decision then, isto say no to nuclear, yes to renewables and energy efficiency.

Read more:

Briefing - Nuclear not the answer to climate change

Report - Economics of nuclear power