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

 

World Health Organisation downplays health impacts of Fukushima nuclear disaster

Press release | 28 February, 2013 at 13:24

(Updated March 4, 2013) Amsterdam, February 28, 2013 – Greenpeace today criticised the World Health Organisation for releasing a flawed new report that hides crucial information on the health impacts of the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

Fukushima suffering continues, but nuclear regulations make the public pay

Press release | 19 February, 2013 at 3:23

Tokyo, February 19, 2013 – The fallout from the Fukushima nuclear disaster continues for hundreds of thousands of victims in Japan still denied fair compensation from a regulatory system that allows the nuclear industry to evade its...

Japan utilities at risk unless they adapt to changed market forces

Press release | 6 February, 2013 at 2:49

Tokyo, February 6, 2013 – The value of Japan's energy utilities, which slumped in the aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, will fall further if the companies continue to ignore major changes in market forces and regulations, a new...

Greenpeace files court case to challenge South Korea's silencing of nuclear critics

Press release | 10 December, 2012 at 1:06

Seoul, December 10, 2012 – Greenpeace International and Greenpeace East Asia have launched a legal challenge against the South Korean government seeking a declaration that the government's prohibiting of key international staff from entering the...

Official radiation monitoring stations in Fukushima unreliable: Greenpeace

Press release | 23 October, 2012 at 4:00

Tokyo, Japan, October 23, 2012 – Following new radioactive contamination checks in Fukushima City and the heavily contaminated Iitate(1) last week, Greenpeace has found that official monitoring stations systematically underestimate the radiation...

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