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

 

Nuclear Power: a dangerous waste of time

Publication | 20 April, 2009 at 0:00

The nuclear power industry is attempting to exploit the climate crisis by aggressively promoting nuclear technology as a “low-carbon” means of generating electricity. Nuclear power claims to be safe,cost-effective and able meet the world’s energy...

Uncertainty and High Economic Risk: The Net Present Value of an investment in nuclear...

Publication | 17 April, 2009 at 0:00

Fact: investing in wind power is far more profitable thaninvesting in nuclear power

Open Letter to en route countries

Publication | 4 March, 2009 at 0:00

The open letter addressed to governments of (potential) en-route states of the largest ever plutonium MOX shipment from France to Japan (scheduled to leave 6 March 2009).

Open Letter to Mohamed ElBaradei

Publication | 2 March, 2009 at 0:00

The open letter addressed to Mohamed ElBaradei, IAEADirector General. The letter is signed by representatives of GreenpeaceInternational (The Netherlands), Citizens Nuclear Information Center(Japan) and Green Action (Japan).

Tackling the climate crisis will help resolve the financial crisis

Publication | 29 November, 2008 at 16:00

If we can bail out the banks why can’t we bail out the planet? Greenpeace supports a planetary rescue package as described in the ‘Green New Deal’ proposal of the New Economics Foundation and called for by UNEP2 as both feasible and necessary.

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