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 survivor submits evidence to UN over Japanese government human rights abuses

Press release | 12 October, 2017 at 7:00

Geneva, 12 October 2017 - Fukushima survivor Ms. Sonoda will testify today on the ongoing human rights abuses of Fukushima victims, and the ever-present risk nuclear power plants pose to the communities that live near them, at the United Nations...

Greenpeace International responds to nuclear tension between US and North Korea

Press release | 9 August, 2017 at 16:23

In response to the escalating rhetoric and tension between the US and North Korea, Greenpeace International Executive Director Bunny McDiarmid said:

Westinghouse bankruptcy underscores meltdown of the global nuclear industry - Greenpeace

Press release | 29 March, 2017 at 5:37

Tokyo, 29 March 2017 – The board of Westinghouse’s parent company, Toshiba, today approved the filing of Chapter 11 bankruptcy for its drowning U.S. company – a defining moment in the decades-long downward spiral of the global nuclear power industry.

Resettlement in contaminated areas steamrolls ahead as residents mark Fukushima...

Press release | 11 March, 2017 at 10:35

Tokyo, 11 March 2017 - Greenpeace today commemorates the more than 15,000 people who died six years ago in the Great East Japan earthquake and tsunami, and the tens of thousands of survivors of the ongoing Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster.

Fukushima resettlement policy violates international human rights commitments and...

Press release | 7 March, 2017 at 6:45

Tokyo, 7 March 2017 – Japan’s policy to resettle residents to heavily contaminated areas in Fukushima is in contravention of Japanese law and multiple international human rights treaties. Greenpeace Japan and Human Rights Now detailed today...

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