World Energy Congress and nuclear madness

Feature story - 11 November, 2007
The people of Italy turned their back on nuclear power in a referendum 20 years ago. Good move. But an Italian company, with government backing, is only too happy to build a dangerous reactor over in Slovakia. We made a surprise appearance during the opening of the World Energy Congress to point out this hypocrisy.

Greenpeace activists make an unexpected appearance during the opening ceremony of the World Energy Conference.

ENEL is the Italian company engaged to complete the reactor in Mochovce, Slovakia. Designed in the 1970s, the reactor lacks crucial safety systems introduced elsewhere following the Chernobyl disaster of 1986.  The Italian government is the main shareholder of ENEL.

One thousand billion dollars

Two activists this evening unfurled a five by seven metre banner reading "Stop Nuclear Madness - Energy Revolution Now" during the opening ceremony of the World Energy Congress in Rome, Italy, attended by Romano Prodi, Italian Prime Minister.

We're also critical of the conference organizer's plan to deal with climate change.  Their plan lets global warming carbon dioxide emissions keep rising as late as 2030 before decreasing AND proposes an expansion in nuclear power.

The costs of doubling the number of nuclear reactors around the world could exceed one thousand billion dollars. Yet such a move would fail to achieve any significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Instead, investments need to go into increasing renewable energy capacity and energy efficiency.

"We have less than a decade to halt and reverse the trend of growing emissions of greenhouse gases if we are to head-off the worst impacts of climate change," said Jan Beranek, nuclear campaigner at Greenpeace International, referring to recent scientific warnings on global warming.

"It is time for a true energy revolution not the failed 'Alice in Wonderland' nuclear dream of 'power too cheap to meter'," said Beranek.

Luckily, we've got a better plan.

Our 'Energy Revolution' scenario is a blueprint for preventing climate change from reaching catastrophic proportions. Produced in conjunction with the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) and the European Renewable Energy Council, the scenario shows that reliance on existing energy technologies can halve global greenhouse emissions while simultaneously phasing out nuclear energy. This would compromise neither sustained economic growth nor fair access to energy for people in developing countries.

7 steps - Start

Take 7 simple steps to start making our energy revolution a reality.

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