We told you last week how French nuclear company AREVA attempted to capitalise on the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan. They were, unfortunately, not the only ones in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami.

A spokesman for French energy giant EdF in the UK said: ‘All EdF Energy’s nuclear power stations are protected against the effects of seismic events’. The thing is, they said that about the reactors at Fukushima as well.

What you might not know is EdF is looking to build a new nuclear reactor at Hinkley Point in the UK, already the site of two reactors. In 1607, the land on which the reactors stand suffered a huge tsunami and at least 2,000 people were killed. The offshore active fault system ‘has apparently experienced an earthquake greater than magnitude 4 on the Richter scale within the last 20 years’.

And it’s not just the nuclear industry making reckless claims:

"I've been a big supporter of nuclear power because it's domestic -- it's ours and it's clean," Senator Joseph Lieberman told the CBS News television program "Face The Nation" Sunday.

Here’s some news for the Senator: nuclear power isn’t clean. To describe it as such is greenwash. Does what’s happening at Fukushima in Japan look clean to you? Does the contamination of the villages near the uranium mines in Niger look clean? There are lots of ways of describing the nuclear waste produced by reactors that remains lethal for hundreds of thousands of years but ‘clean’ isn’t one of them.

The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has just reported that ‘renewable energy could account for almost 80% of the world's energy supply within four decades’ and ‘would cost only about 1% of global GDP annually’. Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel – ‘anything but a left-wing greenie’ – has just announced that she wants ‘to end the use of nuclear energy and reach the age of renewable energy as fast as possible’.

The nuclear industry and its supporters find themselves trapped on the wrong side of the debate.