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

 

Energy Revolution 2008

Publication | 27 October, 2008 at 0:00

This report 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 reports, with a global summary. It...

Energy Revolution 2008 - Launch Brief

Publication | 27 October, 2008 at 0:00

In these times of economic crisis, the need to support Greenpeace’s ‘Energy [R]evolution: A Sustainable World Energy Outlook’ takes on an increased impetus, as it shows how tackling climate change by investing in renewable energy systems and...

European Pressurised Reactor (EPR) Fact Sheet

Publication | 20 July, 2008 at 0:00

The European Pressurised Reactor (EPR) is a new reactor design developed by the French company AREVA in co-operation with the German firm Siemens. Serious doubts have been raised about the safety and cost of the EPR. Study of the EPR’s blueprints...

Problems with French European Pressurised Reactor at Flamanville, France.

Publication | 20 June, 2008 at 0:00

The EPR (European Pressurized Reactor) is the world’s largest nuclear reactor with an installed capacity of 1,600 MWe. It has been developed by French industry as a new generation design that promises to be safer, more reliable and cheaper than...

Nuclear power - undermining action on climate change

Publication | 7 March, 2008 at 16:09

A briefing paper on why nuclear power is an expensive and dangerous distraction from the real solutions to climate change. Greenhouse gas reduction targets can only be met through using the proven alternatives of renewable energy technologies...

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