Brussels, 21 March 2024 – Activists from Greenpeace France have delayed the arrival of several official delegations at the international Nuclear Energy Summit in Brussels today, which the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Prime Minister of Belgium are hosting.

As the motorcades approached, the non-violent activists threw pink powder, lit pink flares and used bicycles and vehicles to block the main access routes to the summit at Brussels Expo, the city’s main exhibition centre. Several activists also climbed different parts of the summit venue, displaying pink banners reading “NUCLEAR FAIRY TALE”.

The protest aims to highlight that nuclear energy is a dangerous distraction from real climate solutions.

*** High-quality photo and video of the protests.

*** Audio recordings of Lorelei Limousin’s quote.

Greenpeace EU senior campaigner Lorelei Limousin said: “We are in a climate emergency, so time is precious, and the governments here today are wasting it with nuclear energy fairy tales. All the evidence shows that nuclear power is too slow to build, too expensive, and it remains highly polluting and dangerous. We simply don’t need nuclear energy. Governments should instead focus on investing in renewables and energy savings, and in real solutions that work for people like home insulation and public transport.”

Nuclear fairy tales

The summit brings political and nuclear industry leaders together and aims to attract public and private finance to advance the goal, announced by a group of countries at COP28 in Dubai, of tripling global nuclear capacity by 2050. 

Greenpeace France estimates that meeting this goal would require the unprecedented completion of 70 reactors globally per year between 2040 and 2050. Only 21 reactors have been added to global grids in the four years between 2020 and 2023, while 24 have been shut down.

Global civil society speak out against nuclear fantasy

This week, more than 600 organisations worldwide published a joint declaration calling on governments not to waste time and money on nuclear fairy tales and to provide safe renewable energy instead. The signatories come from at least 56 countries and territories and include climate and environment organisations, frontline communities, networks of peace activists, as well as youth groups, churches and other civil society representatives.

Representatives of several of the 600+ signatory groups also took part in a peaceful demonstration during today’s summit, where they held a banner reading “NUCLEAR FAIRY TALES = CLIMATE CRISIS” in front of an inflatable fairy tale castle. Activists gave short speeches on the many ways in which nuclear power has consistently failed to live up to the hype of its industry and political backers.

Reality check

While renewables consistently outperform forecasts and are now the cheapest form of energy, nuclear power is declining in Europe. Nuclear’s share of power generation in the EU fell to 22.8% in 2023, compared with 32.8% in 2000. Only two nuclear power plants have been connected to the EU grid since 2010. 

Resistance to the nuclear industry’s attempt to portray itself as a green, climate-friendly source of energy is growing. In 2022, a large grassroots coalition opposed the inclusion of both fossil gas and nuclear power in the EU’s taxonomy of sustainable investments, and several Greenpeace organisations subsequently took the European Commission to court over its greenwashing of nuclear and gas. 

Recent publications from Greenpeace France (summary in English), the European Environmental Bureau and Climate Action Network – Europe show that nuclear power is a dangerous distraction, a terrible use of public money, and a disaster for the climate. 


Lorelei Limousin, Greenpeace EU senior campaigner:  +32 (0)477 79 04 15, [email protected] 

Greenpeace EU press desk: +32 (0)2 274 1911, [email protected]

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Greenpeace is an independent global campaigning network that acts to change attitudes and behaviour, to protect and conserve the environment and to promote peace. We do not accept donations from governments, the EU, businesses or political parties. Greenpeace has over three million supporters, and 26 independent national and regional organisations with offices in more than 55 countries.

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