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


Mayak: A 50-year tragedy

Publication | 28 September, 2007 at 11:39

29 September, 2007 is the 50th anniversary of the Mayak explosion in Russia, which caused the second largest radiation catastrophe in the world. Mayak, in the Southern Urals 1,400 km east of Moscow, is the biggest nuclear complex in the world.

The Hirsch Report

Publication | 28 May, 2007 at 12:00

A report on the Progress and Quality Assurance Regime at the EPR Construction at Olkiluoto and the Safety Implications of the Problems Encountered.

Assessments of the radiological consequences of releases from existing and proposed...

Publication | 28 May, 2007 at 0:00

This assessment examines the radiological consequences following a catastrophic failure at each of a number of NPPs.

Media Briefing: Safety Implications of Problems in Olkiluoto

Publication | 16 May, 2007 at 0:00

When the Finnish company TVO ordered a European Pressurized Water Reactor from the French company Areva, Finland became the first industrialized country in more than a decade to start nuclear construction. The reactor was supposed to “set a new...

Climate Change - Nuclear not the answer

Publication | 30 April, 2007 at 12:45

While the nuclear industry’s 1950s dream of clean energy that would be too cheap to meter lies in economic and environmental tatters that same industry is now desperately trying to convince us that it is the solution to climate change. While the...

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