Don’t buy the NUCLEAR con
What is the solution to global warming?
7 reasons why it isn’t nuclear power!
1. Too slow
The world’s existing 430 nuclear reactors produce less than 5% of total world energy use, and 15% of world electricity. To have any significant impact on global greenhouse emissions, literally hundreds of new nuclear reactors would have to be built worldwide. Because each reactor takes about ten years to plan and construct, it would take decades for hundreds of new reactors to be built, by which time global warming would be totally out of control.
2. Too expensive
Each reactor costs several billion dollars to construct. To build the hundreds of reactors needed would cost hundreds of billions of dollars. History shows most of this money would come as subsidies from government and would be diverted away from much more effective, safe, affordable and timely greenhouse reduction measures including reducing energy demand, improving energy efficiency and using renewables (solar, wind, etc) . The same amount of money required to build a nuclear reactor would, if spent on wind power for example, produce more energy and more jobs, and NO radioactive waste.
3. Too ineffective
Nuclear power is not an effective means of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Energy efficiency measures deliver seven times greater reductions in greenhouse emissions per dollar spent compared to nuclear power. In countries like America, the world’s greatest energy consumer and greenhouse polluter, and Australia, there is enormous scope for reducing energy waste and misuse, and hence greenhouse gas emissions. This can be done right now, at relatively little cost, and without any need for expensive, dangerous and dirty nuclear reactors.
4. Too little uranium
Even if all the other problems were fixed with nuclear power there just aren’t enough uranium reserves to power the world with nuclear power. If we replaced all electricity generated by burning fossil fuel with electricity from nuclear power today, there would be enough economically viable uranium to fuel the reactors for between 3 and 4 years (O'Rourke, 2004; Storm van Leeuwen & Smith, 2004). Even if we were to double world usage of nuclear energy, the life span of uranium reserves would be just 25 years. Therefore any potential benefits to the climate are extremely temporary.
5. Too destructive
All around the world, every aspect of the nuclear industry from uranium mining to power plant construction to weapons testing and waste storage has proven to be highly destructive of the environment and local communities, especially Indigenous communities. Wherever uranium miners and nuclear power and weapons corporations operate, environmental and community safety standards are either removed, weakened, or ignored. Secrecy and a lack of accountability are central to the nuclear industry.
6. Too dangerous
Ever since they were invented, nuclear reactors have played an essential role in creating nuclear weapons. Of the 60 countries which have built nuclear reactor s, over 20 are known to have used their 'peaceful ' nuclear facilities for weapons research and/or production. The planet is now awash with nuclear weapons and missing nuclear material, including weapons and plutonium held by ‘rogue states’ and groups in the midst of long running wars and conflicts. All stages of the nuclear cycle provide opportunities for terrorism. Terrorists can target reactors and other nuclear facilities to cause a nuclear catastrophe, or target various stages of the nuclear cycle to acquire radioactive material for missiles and ‘dirty bombs’.
7. Too dirty
Every reactor produces hundreds of tonnes of highly toxic radioactive waste and even after 50 years the nuclear industry and its government backers have been unable to find safe, long term means of managing this waste. More reactors means more waste which includes some of the most dangerous and long-lasting toxic substances known to humankind, e.g. plutonium. Nuclear power also generates large amounts of greenhouse gases, e.g., CFCs, CO2, especially during uranium mining, milling and enrichment, and reactor construction.
We al l want quick and effective solutions to reduce greenhouse gas pollution and stop global warming, but nuclear is NOT the answer. Focusing on nuclear is a deliberate ploy to distract attention, and ACTION, away from the real solutions to the world’s energy and pollution problems. The most effective, timely, safe and affordable way to reduce greenhouse emissions and halt global warming is a mix of: (1) increasing the cost of fossil fuels to reflect the harm they cause, e.g. a carbon tax; (2) dramatic and achievable improvements in energy efficiency; (3) increased investment in a range of renewable energy technologies especially solar and wind; and, (4) use of gas as a ‘bridging fuel’ where necessary.
Websites with more information:
www.nirs.org/climate/climate.htm, www.cana.net .au ww.citizen.org/cmep/energy_enviro_nuclear/nuclear_power_plants/articles.cfm? ID=13447
AND, for a LAUGH: www.nukeretro.com