Fukushima: Don't Forget

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

 

Fukushima Fallout

Publication | 15 February, 2013 at 23:30

From the beginning of the use of nuclear power to produce electricity 60 years ago, the nuclear industry has been protected from paying the full costs of its failures. Governments have created a system that protects the profits of companies while...

Beyond Nuclear

Publication | 6 February, 2013 at 0:30

After decades of market dominance, high profitability and the creation of strong shareholder value, Japan's nuclear utilities have seen their fortunes turn in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

Toxic Assets

Publication | 12 June, 2012 at 6:00

This report looks at the March 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster from an investors’ point of view. It identifies the long-known technological, management, governance and other institutional deficiencies that were instrumental in turning a predicted...

Lessons from Fukushima

Publication | 28 February, 2012 at 2:00

It has been almost 12 months since the Fukushima nuclear disaster began. Although the Great East Japan earthquake and the following tsunami triggered it, the key causes of the nuclear accident lie in the institutional failures of political...

Shadowlands

Publication | 19 February, 2012 at 23:00

On 11 March 2011 the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in Japan changed forever. An earthquake and tsunami destroyed towns and villages on the northeast coast. Some 20,000 people died. Greenpeace visited people affected by the Fukushima...

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