Fukushima: Don't Forget

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

 

Japan offers us hope in the face of more bad news from the IPCC

Blog entry by Justin McKeating | 2 April, 2014

The Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released this week makes for grim reading. The attitudes and behaviour of humanity is going to have to change and quickly if we are to save ourselves...

Japan should not be a nuclear playground

Blog entry by Kumi Naidoo | 24 March, 2014 26 comments

Op-ed originally published on Kyodo News. A busy playground beams with hope and echoes with giggles. It was in this safe place, three months after the disaster, that I heard infectious ripples of laughter from children going back...

The mythologies of thorium and uranium

Blog entry by Jan Beránek | 24 March, 2014 108 comments

Thorium and uranium represent the heaviest naturally occurring elements on Earth. Both were named after ancient gods: Uranus was the principal Greek god of the sky while Thor was the Norse (and broadly Germanic) god of a thunder. ...

The Nuclear Security Summit fails to address the big hazards

Blog entry by Jorien de Lege | 20 March, 2014 2 comments

World leaders are coming together at The Hague in the Netherlands next week for the Nuclear Security Summit to talk about what Barack Obama called "one of the greatest threat to international security": nuclear terrorism. That does...

Greenpeace activists occupy France's Fessenheim nuclear power plant to say "Stop...

Blog entry by Justin McKeating | 18 March, 2014 2 comments

Around 60 Greenpeace activists from 14 countries entered France's Fessenheim nuclear power plant this morning to send the message that the ageing plant should be closed. Our people unfurled a banner next to the Fessenheim Number 1...

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