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

 

Chernobyl status report reveals a catalogue of failures and ongoing nuclear risks

Press release | 14 April, 2016 at 14:19

Hamburg, 14 April 2016 – Thirty years after the world’s worst nuclear disaster efforts to manage the damaged Chernobyl reactor are still in preliminary stages, leaving local people, visitors and wildlife at risk. These are the findings of a new...

Fukushima nuclear disaster an ongoing crisis with no end in sight - Greenpeace

Press release | 11 March, 2016 at 1:00

Tokyo, 11 March 2016 - Greenpeace today commemorates the fifth anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, renewing calls for those responsible to be held to account for the ongoing crisis.

Lost health and homes: the legacies of Chernobyl and Fukushima

Press release | 9 March, 2016 at 7:10

Moscow, Kiev, 9 March 2016 - Survivors of Chernobyl are still eating food with radioactive contamination above permissible limits thirty years after the nuclear catastrophe forced hundreds of thousands of people from their homes.

Fukushima nuclear disaster will impact forests, rivers and estuaries for hundreds of...

Press release | 4 March, 2016 at 4:20

Tokyo, 4 March 2016 - The environmental impacts of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster will last decades to centuries, warns a new Greenpeace Japan report. Man-made, long-lived radioactive elements are absorbed into the living tissues of...

Greenpeace launches high tech investigation into radiation impacts of Fukushima...

Press release | 25 February, 2016 at 2:22

Tokyo, 25 February 2016 - Greenpeace Japan today announced it is conducting an underwater investigation into radiation contamination from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant into the Pacific Ocean. The survey will be conducted from a Japanese...

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