PricewaterhouseCoopers have released a report, Resurgence of nuclear power, which talks about how the ‘utilities around the world are realizing the great promise of new nuclear power plants and making investments today’ and offers ‘key considerations as the nuclear option is re-introduced’. It paints an extraordinarily glowing picture of the upcoming nuclear ‘renaissance’.
It doesn’t mention nuclear waste once. The safety concerns around nuclear power have been ‘refuted’. Oh, really? The global movement against nuclear power refutes that refutation. The daily news is littered with stories that give lie to the statement that the safety concerns around nuclear power have gone away.
How about this advice from the report on how to successfully build a nuclear reactor:
In our view, the key to delivering a successful project will revolve around understanding organizational objectives in the new environment, establishing effective strategies that are aligned with these objectives, and ensuring that contracts and project execution tactics follow suit.
What does that even mean? This is the problem with the nuclear industry and the language used around it. It all sounds very encouraging and optimistic in the abstract. It’s once you get down to the specifics that things start to look a lot less happy.
You can talk about ‘understanding organizational objectives’, ‘establishing effective strategies’, and ‘execution tactics’ all day. But avoiding the subject of uranium mining and its associated exploitation and contamination or the long-term responsibilities created by nuclear waste serves no-one.
All this feeds into the spin and misinformation that the nuclear industry gives us when it talks about nuclear energy being ‘green’ and ‘clean’. It does not allow an honest and open debate and must stop.