End the nuclear age

Greenpeace has always fought - and will continue to fight - vigorously against nuclear power because it is an unacceptable risk to the environment and to humanity. The only solution is to halt the expansion of all nuclear power, and for the shutdown of existing plants.

Nastya, from Belarus was only three years old when she was diagnosed with cancer of the uterus and lungs. According to local doctors the region has seen a huge increase in childhood cancer cases since the Chernobyl disaster.

We need an energy system that can fight climate change, based on renewable energy and energy efficiency. Nuclear power already delivers less energy globally than renewable energy, and the share will continue to decrease in the coming years.

Despite what the nuclear industry tells us, building enough nuclear power stations to make a meaningful reduction in greenhouse gas emissions would cost trillions of dollars, create tens of thousands of tons of lethal high-level radioactive waste, contribute to further proliferation of nuclear weapons materials, and result in a Chernobyl-scale accident once every decade. Perhaps most significantly, it will squander the resources necessary to implement meaningful climate change solutions.  (Briefing: Climate change - Nuclear not the answer.)

The Nuclear Age began in July 1945 when the US tested their first nuclear bomb near Alamogordo, New Mexico. A few years later, in 1953, President Eisenhower launched his "Atoms for Peace" Programme at the UN amid a wave of unbridled atomic optimism.

But as we know there is nothing "peaceful" about all things nuclear. More than half a century after Eisenhower's speech the planet is left with the legacy of nuclear waste. This legacy is beginning to be recognised for what it truly is.

Things are moving slowly in the right direction. In November 2000 the world recognised nuclear power as a dirty, dangerous and unnecessary technology by refusing to give it greenhouse gas credits during the UN Climate Change talks in The Hague. Nuclear power was dealt a further blow when a UN Sustainable Development Conference refused to label nuclear a sustainable technology in April 2001.

The risks from nuclear energy are real, inherent and long-lasting.

The latest updates

 

Shadowlands

Publication | 19 February, 2012 at 23:00

On 11 March 2011 the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in Japan changed forever. An earthquake and tsunami destroyed towns and villages on the northeast coast. Some 20,000 people died. Greenpeace visited people affected by the Fukushima...

The EPR nuclear reactor

Publication | 6 February, 2012 at 15:57

An update of the 2008 Greenpeace International briefing on the EPR reactor. We have added some of the many new design and construction errors and the economic setbacks the EPR has run into. We also include more information on the tremendous gains...

A just and fair economy

Publication | 1 November, 2011 at 11:35

At Rio de Janeiro in 2012 governments must change the dangerous course we’re on. Sustainable Development Goals should be launched to form the basis of development within planetary boundaries.

G8 Climate and Energy Action Checklist 2011

Publication | 25 May, 2011 at 11:20

G8 leaders have a unique opportunity to drive a renewable energy revolution and prevent catastrophic climate change. To be considered a success, the G8 must meet the demands in the Greenpeace G8 Checklist.

Chernobyl field findings - 25 years later

Publication | 7 April, 2011 at 9:00

In the early morning of 26 April 1986, a major nuclear accident occurred in reactor number 4 at the Chernobyl nuclear power station in Ukraine. The reactor’s explosion and subsequent burning went down in history as the world’s worst civilian...

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