In case you hadn’t noticed, the G8 leaders’ summit (http://www.g8summit.go.jp/) was held in Hokkaido, Japan this week. The outcome of the summit was everything we’ve come to expect when the world’s eight most powerful people sit down together, that is, a disappointing anti-climax so massive it’s visible from outer space. An old ladies’ knitting club would have got more done.
After sensitively highlighting the growing crisis of world hunger by enjoying a much-publicised 18-course banquet, Bush, Brown, Merkel, Fukuda, Sarkozy, Medvedev, Harper, and Berlusconi worked off their repast by paying lip service, once again, to climate change. To give them credit, it takes real talent to do that much talking and yet fail to produce so little of anything tangible.
On the issue of nuclear energy the news is, as with pretty much all the other issues discussed, there is no news. The same old line about the development of nuclear energy contributing to ‘global energy security, while simultaneously reducing harmful air pollution and addressing the climate change challenge’ was rolled out once again as it has been at so many summits before. We’ve debunked, disproved and destroyed these myths so often, we’re almost as tired as they are. Come on G8, give us a fresh challenge!
The magic nuclear 3Ss – non-proliferation safeguards, safety and security – were also mentioned at Hokkaido. They’re very, very, very important, don’t you know? It’s nice to see that they’re being thought about even if they’re not being followed. Despite the G8 ‘underlining the paramount importance’ of the 3Ss, there are still cracks in the concrete bases of reactors, their welding is substandard, and France’s nuclear ‘experts’ Areva have just poured 30,000 litres of radioactive liquid into the Gaffiere and Lauzon rivers in the south of the country.
And that was G8 for another year. You’ll have to dig very deep to find any diamonds in the communiqués. If only they were as rich as the leaders’ banquet. The signatures of the most powerful people on Earth might come in handy. We could forge them on a nuclear energy abolition treaty.