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

 

Greenpeace activists evade security at Swedish nuclear power plants

Press release | 10 October, 2012 at 13:04

Stockholm, October 10, 2012 – Exposing the vulnerability of Swedish nuclear power plants, at least seven Greenpeace activists stayed more than 24 hours undetected at two sites following a test of their security procedures.

South Korea again bars Greenpeace staff from country to silence nuclear critics

Press release | 8 October, 2012 at 8:30

Seoul, South Korea, 8 October 2012 - Greenpeace International nuclear campaigners have again been denied entry to South Korea, making it crystal clear the government in Seoul is trying to silence nuclear critics.

Japan plans end to nuclear, but public still at risk for 18 more years

Press release | 14 September, 2012 at 10:51

Tokyo, September 14, 2012 – Greenpeace Japan today cautiously welcomed the Japanese government’s landmark new ‘energy and environment strategy’ of zero nuclear reactors in the 2030s, but warned that 18 years is still too long to keep the...

Greenpeace report rebukes finance sector for ignoring nuclear risks

Press release | 12 June, 2012 at 3:22

Tokyo, June 12, 2012 – Investors in nuclear power are being sold precarious and potentially damaging investments because the industry’s risks are regularly being overlooked or underestimated, a new report from Greenpeace has found.

Greenpeace calls for renewable revolution as Japan becomes nuclear free

Press release | 4 May, 2012 at 3:00

Tokyo, Japan, 4 May 2012 - Greenpeace called on the Japanese government today to use the opportunity of a nuclear free Japan to listen to its experts and its people, keep reactors off line and focus all its efforts on improving energy efficiency...

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