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

 

Briefing : Radioactivity in Akokan

Publication | 26 November, 2009 at 9:41

Noveber 2009 Greenpeace expedition to AREVA uranium mines in Niger found high levels of radioactivity in the nearby town of Akokan where villagers are exposed daily.

Statement on the Separation of Safety I&C and Operational I&C

Publication | 19 November, 2009 at 0:00

Statement from Dr Helmut Hirsch, Independent Consultant for Nuclear Safety regarding the design of the EPR Nerve Centre.

Nuclear Power: an obstacle to rapid development

Publication | 4 November, 2009 at 0:00

This briefing details why nuclear power is neither a necessary nor a beneficial part of a sustainable energy strategy for countries experiencing rapid industrialisation.

Leaked powerpoint presentation on Mochovce 3&4 nuclear reactor environmental...

Publication | 12 September, 2009 at 0:00

Presentation leaked to Greenpeace of plans to manipulate public hearings on the environmental impact and safety of the Mochovce 3&4 nuclear reactor in Slovakia by the Slovak electric utility, whose majority owners are Italian company ENEL.

Nuclear Power: An Expensive Waste of Time

Publication | 3 July, 2009 at 10:50

Nuclear energy is often touted as a solution to climate change, however, economically inefficient, however carries enormous dangers in terms of waste, is economically inefficient and will have a marginal impact on emissions.

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