End the nuclear age

Greenpeace has always fought - and will continue to fight - vigorously against nuclear power because it is an unacceptable risk to the environment and to humanity. The only solution is to halt the expansion of all nuclear power, and for the shutdown of existing plants.

Henk Haazen at the helm of Tiama, leading the nuclear free Tasman flotilla out to sea where they will meet up with other Greenpeace boats to protest over plutonium being shipped through the Pacific Ocean.

Nuclear power is never safe, and the use of nuclear technology has never been 'peaceful'. Internationally, Greenpeace has always fought - and will continue to fight - vigorously against nuclear power because it is an unacceptable risk to the environment and to humanity.

The only solution is to halt the expansion of all nuclear power, and for the shutdown of existing plants.

We are campaigning to end the use of nuclear power and its subsequent reprocessing, transporting and dumping of toxic waste.

To counter the use of nuclear power we want:

  • The adoption of universal best practice support schemes encouraging renewable energy uptake like wind
  • Levelling the playing field by removing massive subsidies to the fossil and nuclear fuel industries
  • Adopting a host of legally enforceable mechanisms to secure and accelerate a market share for renewable energy particularly in industrialised and emerging economies
  • Energy efficiency and conservation to curb ever-increasing demand

Greenpeace also wants total disarmament of nuclear weapons, and we'll always protest against, and endeavour to stop, nuclear weapons testing.

We'll also always campaign to keep New Zealand Nuclear Free!

Nuclear power is not a solution to climate change

Nuclear power remains dangerous, polluting, expensive and non-renewable. More nuclear power means more problems. It also means less resources invested in real solutions to growing energy demands.

Renewable energies, on the other hand, have truly limitless sources, can be more easily deployed in remote, underdeveloped regions, present absolutely no risk to global security and are environmentally friendly.

Nuclear power is not a solution to climate change. We need clean, renewable energy to power our future - read more.

Go to the Climate Change section to learn why we're acting to stop dirty energy (including nuclear) and promoting clean energy.

Nuclear legacy

The nuclear age began in July 1945 when the US tested their first nuclear bomb near Alamogordo, New Mexico. A few years later, in 1953, President Eisenhower launched his "Atoms for Peace" Programme at the United Nations amid a wave of unbridled atomic optimism. However, the use of nuclear power has never been "peaceful".

Nuclear installations, whether military or civil, have a sad record of accidents and incidents, shrouded in cover-ups, lies and misinformation. The generation of electricity in nuclear reactors produces substances than can be used for the fabrication of nuclear weapons. The dangers associated with the handling of weapons-useable nuclear substances require a high level of security and secrecy even in democratic countries.

Every part of the nuclear industry has unacceptable risks, from uranium mining to energy production to the unsolved problem of transporting and storing radioactive waste. Radiation released into the environment has led to the contamination of soil, air, rivers and oceans; causing cancer and other diseases in people.

Moreover, nuclear energy has never been economic, despite the massive state subsidies it has received for decades. Even now funding still pours into the nuclear sector at the expense of renewable resources like solar or wind energy.

Over half a century after Eisenhower's speech, the planet is left with the legacy of nuclear waste, which will be radioactive for tens or hundreds of thousands of years. The only logical solution is to close down the nuclear industry and stop creating the risk and the waste.

The latest updates

 

Earthquake, fire and nuclear leak in Japan

Feature story | July 18, 2007 at 23:20

A 6.8 magnitude earthquake rocked the world's largest nuclear plant on Monday, causing a transformer fire. Since then, revelations have been coming out about spills and leaks at the plant.

Chernobyl anniversary protest

Feature story | April 26, 2007 at 23:57

On this day 21 years ago a nuclear reactor near the Ukraine city of Chernobyl suffered a steam explosion and a nuclear meltdown. Winds spread the radioactive fallout over thousands of square kilometres. Now, risky new nuclear reactors are under...

Doomsday clock inches forward with climate change

Feature story | January 17, 2007 at 22:37

Weather of Mass Destruction has officially joined Weapons of Mass Destruction in threatening to wreak irrevocable damage on the earth.

Don't nuke Iran

Feature story | April 26, 2006 at 0:00

An exposé by respected insider journalist Seymour Hersh reveals that the US is considering the use of tactical nuclear weapons against Iran. But where would those weapons come from, and where would they strike? Those questions bear deep...

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