At the opening of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Annual General Meeting today, Greenpeace denounced the role of the Atomic Agency in promoting nuclear power and thereby aiding the spread of nuclear weapons.
Forty activists attached a banner in front of the UN building in
Vienna with the text: 'IAEA = NUCLEAR POWER = NUCLEAR BOMBS'. A
flying 6-metre long nuclear bomb with 'IAEA' on it flew above the
IAEA venue and a nuclear missile with 'NUCLEAR POWER = NUCLEAR
BOMBS' was deployed in front of the entrance.
"Nuclear power is not only dirty, dangerous and economically
insane, it also generates the very materials that can be used for
nuclear bombs," said Jan Vande Putte of Greenpeace.
Even the Director General of the IAEA Dr. ElBaradei recognises
that 35-40 countries with nuclear power are capable of developing a
nuclear weapon within a few months (1).
The only solution to the current security and proliferation
concerns in the Middle East is through the creation of a Nuclear
Free Zone, a diplomatic process that will eliminate all weapons and
nuclear technology in the region, and the rapid development of
renewable energy. If the current crisis is to be resolved, the
'Nuclear Free Zone' in the Middle East, must include the
abandonment of so-called 'civil' nuclear programmes because nuclear
power equals nuclear bombs.
"Fifty years of promoting nuclear technology by the IAEA has
only exacerbated the problem of nuclear proliferation. This
promotional role is highly irresponsible and must be stopped. The
IAEA should focus on its urgently relevant task of controlling and
safeguarding, to the extent possible, the highly dangerous nuclear
materials and technology in circulation," continued Vande
Greenpeace therefore calls for the scrapping of the IAEA's
promotional function as part of the UN reform process underway, to
heal it from its topical schizophrenia and to enable it to become a
true nuclear watchdog.
The UN should promote renewable energy technologies which are
peaceful, generate employment and prosperity to local communities
and respect the environment. Wind energy in Europe is growing by
more than 6,000 MW every year, the equivalent of 2-3 large nuclear
reactors, while it takes the nuclear industry nearly 10 years to
build one single reactor.
"The IAEA can only become a real nuclear watchdog if it stops
feeding the very dragon it is supposed to be starving," added Vande
Putte. "The IAEA should promote the phase-out of a dangerous and
polluting technology which has been bypassed by a booming renewable
Greenpeace is an independent campaigning organisation that uses
non-violent creative confrontation to expose global environmental
problems to force solutions that are essential to a green and
Other contacts: Jan Vande Putte, Greenpeace International Energy Expert, +32 496 161584 or +43 664 5585406Franko Petri, Greenpeace Central & Eastern Europe media officer, + 43 664 612 6721Cecilia Goin, Greenpeace International Media Officer, +31 621 296 908
Notes: 1). The Economist, October 16th 20032). Greenpeace report "The Real Face of the IAEA's Multilateral Nuclear Approaches" available at: http://www.greenpeace.org/international/press/reports/IAEAmultilateralnuclearapproachreport
Exp. contact date: 2005-09-30 00:00:00