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

 

The nuclear reality: lives in limbo after Fukushima

Blog entry by Rianne Teule | February 20, 2013

As a nuclear campaigner, I have seen the nuclear industry walk away from its mistakes many times, ignoring people’s suffering. But it is the terrible effect on people of a nuclear disaster such as Fukushima that really brings home...

Ending the nuclear weapons age

Blog entry by Jen Maman and Aaron Gray-Block | February 19, 2013

The exact number of nuclear weapons situated across the world is shrouded in mystery, but whatever the number, North Korea's underground test this week is a grim reminder of the devastation and destruction these weapons could unleash.

Greenpeace Sweden exposes lax security at nuclear plants

Blog entry by Brian Blomme | October 10, 2012

They poured onto the sites of two nuclear reactor plants in Sweden this morning with minimal problems: more than 70 Greenpeace activists, from five countries, conducted peaceful stress tests of the sites. The goal: to show how...

Lijon Eknilang 1946 - 2012

Blog entry by Bunny Mcdiarmid | August 27, 2012

Lijon was from Rongelap Atoll in the Marshall Islands and was 8 years old when her home island was showered in radioactive fallout from the March 1, 1954 US Bravo test on nearby Bikini Atoll. Bravo was the biggest of the 67 nuclear...

The emerging power of Japan’s ‘Hydrangea’ revolution

Blog entry by Junichi Sato | July 9, 2012

Like the flower it has been named after, a budding civil movement is emerging and taking root in Japan to protest against the government’s decision to restart the Ohi nuclear plant. The restart, just 18 months after the...

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