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

 

Getting Serious about Nuclear Power - Too little, too late, too expensive – and too...

Publication | 29 November, 2008 at 15:55

Nuclear energy’s ‘contribution’ to fighting climate change would come too late (long after 2020), with huge costs (US$ 10 trillion) and would create a myriad of other serious hazards related to accidents, waste and proliferation. These large...

Forests for Climate - Save the climate by saving forests

Publication | 29 November, 2008 at 15:44

The ecological, political, and financial stars are aligned for governments to take meaningful action on behalf of the climate, forests, and impoverished communities around the world. Standing forests are a tremendous carbon storehouse that must...

A shared vision for the future

Publication | 29 November, 2008 at 0:00

One of the key issues that will be discussed by Ministers at the climate talks in Poznan is a ‘shared vision’ as agreed under the Bali Action Plan: ‘A shared vision for long-term cooperative action, including a long-term global goal for emission...

Nuclear power - Undermining climate protection

Publication | 3 November, 2008 at 9:23

There is a clear scientific consensus that we must halve global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 2050 or suffer changes to the global climate with catastrophic consequences. Avoiding the most severe impacts of climate change requires governments...

Energy Revolution 2008 - Executive Summary

Publication | 27 October, 2008 at 0:00

This is a 16 page summary of the report that provides a blueprint showing how to apply existing technologies to halve global CO2 emissions by 2050, whilst allowing for an increase in energy consumption. The report is divided into 10 regional...

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