Nuclear power is part of the problem

Background - 1 July, 2016
Greenpeace opposes nuclear power because it is dangerous, polluting, expensive and non-renewable. More nuclear power means more nuclear weapons proliferation, more nuclear-armed states, more potential "dirty bombs" and more targets for terrorists. Renewable energy from the wind, sun, water and earth is better for our health, the environment and the economy, and doesn’t risk a nuclear meltdown.

Greenpeace got its start protesting nuclear weapons testing back in 1971. We’ve fought vigorously against nuclear weapons and nuclear power ever since.

Nuclear power disasters highlight the risks

The catastrophic risks of nuclear energy far outweigh its potential benefits. The high-profile disasters in Chernobyl, Ukraine in 1986 and Fukushima, Japan in 2011 raised public awareness of nuclear power's dangers. The severe and enduring harm these disasters cause to people, economies and the environment explain why support for nuclear energy has fizzled.

Nuclear is expensive, slow and non-renewable

To avoid the worst effects of climate change, we need solutions that are fast and affordable. But nuclear power is the opposite — slow and expensive. New nuclear plants are the most costly form of generation on the market, and every new project is plagued by cost overruns and delays. Nuclear plants take at least a decade to build, much longer than wind and solar energy projects.

Unlike free and endless supplies of energy from the wind and sun, nuclear is not renewable. Nuclear power relies on scarce uranium to fuel its reactors. If we replaced all fossil fuels with nuclear power, the world would run out of uranium in less than four years.

Nuclear waste isn't going away

Building enough nuclear power stations to make a meaningful reduction in greenhouse gas emissions would create tens of thousands of tons of lethal high-level radioactive waste.

Nuclear waste is produced at every stage of the nuclear fuel cycle: from uranium mining to reactor operation to reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel. Much of it will remain hazardous for hundreds of thousands of years, a poisonous legacy for future generations.

Renewables are the future of energy

Nuclear power's track record is fifty years of failure. The industry still has no solutions to its fundamental problems. For people and the planet, it remains a shockingly poor investment choice.

We can do better than trade one disaster for another. The nuclear age is over and the age of renewables has begun.

More information

Read the Greenpeace report Nuclear Scars.

Read the Greenpeace briefing: Nuclear Not the Answer.

Learn more about Greenpeace's work to fight nuclear dangers: