Nuclear Is Not The Answer

Greenpeace protests at ASEAN+3 meeting

Feature story - June 17, 2008
Greenpeace activists today accosted delegates at the ASEAN+3 meeting on nuclear energy in Bangkok with images of Chernobyl disaster victims and a banner proclaiming ‘Nuclear is not the answer’. The activists demanded that ASEAN countries should invest in clean renewable energy instead of putting their populations at risk with dangerous and expensive nuclear energy.

Greenpeace activists accost delegates at the ASEAN+3 meeting on nuclear engergy in Bangkok with images of Chernobyl disaster victims and banner proclaiming "NUCLEAR is not the answer" at the Plaza Athénée Bangkok Hotel, in Bangkok, Thailand. The activists demanded that ASEAN countries should invest in clean renewable energy instead of putting their populations at risk with dangerous and expensive nuclear energy.

Greenpeace activists accost delegates at the ASEAN+3 meeting on nuclear engergy in Bangkok with images of Chernobyl disaster victims and banner proclaiming "NUCLEAR is not the answer" at the Plaza Athénée Bangkok Hotel, in Bangkok, Thailand. The activists demanded that ASEAN countries should invest in clean renewable energy instead of putting their populations at risk with dangerous and expensive nuclear energy.

Greenpeace activists accost delegates at the ASEAN+3 meeting on nuclear engergy in Bangkok with images of Chernobyl disaster victims and banner proclaiming "NUCLEAR is not the answer" at the Plaza Athénée Bangkok Hotel, in Bangkok, Thailand. The activists demanded that ASEAN countries should invest in clean renewable energy instead of putting their populations at risk with dangerous and expensive nuclear energy.

"Thai Government should realize that nuclear energy is not a solution to climate change, it cannot ensure energy security and it is certainly not safe.The nuclear industry remains mired in accidents, lies, cover-ups and incompetence. Today's 'renaissance' reactors are threatening to become tomorrow's Chernobyls," warned Tara Buakamsri, Greenpeace campaign manager. "We are calling upon the ASEAN leaders and the Thai government not to be swayed by the nuclear industry desperate attempts to revive its fortunes, but instead lead an Energy Revolution with clean, green and renewable technologies. " he added

The explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear reactor, 22 years ago, went down in history as the world's worst civilian nuclear accident. Its consequences were felt around the globe and persist even today. A study commissioned by Greenpeace, in 2006 to coincide with the twentieth anniversary of Chernobyl, estimated that the overall global death toll as result of the accident may be close to 100,000 people over the long term (1)

Besides the constantly accelerating costs , new reactors which are intended to be passively safe already show signs of turning into a fiasco. Flamanville 3, in France, and Olkiuloto 3, in Finland, were designed and promoted as the flagships of a new nuclear boom. On the contrary, however, two years into the construction of Olkiuloto 3, in May 2007, the Finnish nuclear safety authority reported 1,500 quality and safety defects. Many of these failures could increase the risk of a severe accident.

Thailand plans to build four nuclear plants, each costing at least $1 billion. It is planning to launch a major public relations drive on behalf of the nuclear industry to get the Thai publics acceptance for Nuclear Power.

"The Indonesian government cannot simply disregard the massive opposition that local communities and religious groups have displayed against the building of nuclear power plants in the archipelago." Said Tessa de Ryck , Greenpeace Nuclear Campaigner,  "Instead of concentrating on this dangerous and ridiculously expensive endeavor, the Indonesian government should be showing its commitment to fight climate change by choosing for the abundantly available sources of renewable energy that the country possesses. Those are the real clean and safe options which can guarantee energy independence for all future generations to come. "

Greenpeace sees no role for nuclear power in cutting the world's greenhouse gas  emissions in half by 2050, to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Instead, Greenpeace is calling for an 'Energy Revolution' based on renewable energy sources and energy efficiency. Governments which opt for nuclear power will also find their energy independence and security limited to the very few countries and companies which can provide nuclear technology and fuel.

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