We've discussed before on Nuclear Reaction the nuclear industry’s attempts to greenwash nuclear power by rebranding it ‘clean’. It’s a description of this most contaminating of energy sources that nuclear boosters are pushing more and more in the debate about the future of nuclear power.
Another term we’re starting to see more and more of is ‘emission free’, as in ‘nuclear power is an emission free energy source'. Take a look at this infographic where the Nuclear Energy Institute (‘the policy organization for the nuclear technologies industry’) portrays nuclear power as such. Even institutions like the BBC have bought the industry spin.
Nuclear power is not ‘clean’ or ‘emission free’. Would you describe the open air nuclear waste dumps at Seversk in Russia as ‘clean’? Would you describe the production of nuclear fuel as ‘emission free’ as it produces its tonnes of greenhouse gases and toxic and radioactive byproducts? How about nuclear reactors that are permitted to emit radioactive gases like carbon-14?
Finally, someone in authority has caught up with the nuclear industry and its propaganda. The Advertising Standards Canada, the organisation which regulates the Canadian advertising industry, ruled earlier this year that claims of nuclear power being ‘emission free’ made in adverts by the Power Workers’ Union ‘were inaccurate, unsupported, and misleading’. The Union was told to remove its ads.
Will the industry pay any attention? How about the Nuclear Energy Institute amending its infographic and its other pronouncements? Maybe GE Energy could update the description of its Advanced Boiling Water Reactor. Would AREVA North America like to do a quick Google search and change the posts on its blog?
We won’t hold our breath while we wait. In the mean time we’ll be looking for adverts in other countries that make the same spurious claims.