Nuclear Power Is Not a Solution for the Climate Crisis
For the Bali Conference, we, the Global Greens, declared that nuclear power must remain excluded from mechanisms aimed at promoting emission reductions under the international climate framework. However, the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report for the first time included nuclear energy as a means of dealing with global warming, although it noted concerns about safety, nuclear proliferation and radioactive waste. Also, countries that had stopped building nuclear power plants have adopted policies in favor of nuclear power, and nuclear industries are looking to export reactors to developing countries under the guise of support for the countermeasure against global warming. In the context of the debate on global warming, a dangerous situation is emerging in which many countries could move towards the promotion of nuclear power. Those governments promoting nuclear power as the main option of reducing greenhouse gases will greatly limit the growth of renewable energy, and foreclose opportunities to reduce energy consumption and energy waste, thus missing real solutions to stop global warming.
Nuclear energy involves huge financial and environmental costs and greenhouse gas emissions associated with constructing and dismantling nuclear power plants, fuel transport, uranium mining, release of warm water, semi-permanent management of waste and maintenance of related systems, as well as the waste of electric power due to the difficulty of controlling power output. In many cases, Indigenous people suffer inequitably from the impact of the nuclear industry. Nuclear power cannot be a solution for the climate crisis.
Nuclear accidents are still a reality, and the possibility of irrevocable nuclear disaster needs to be emphasized. In July 2007, the Chuetsu-Oki Earthquake struck Japan’s Niigata Prefecture. It caused a fire at the Kashiwazaki nuclear power plant - the first time a nuclear power plant had been subjected to such a violent quake. The ground supporting the plant was greatly distorted, and important facilities and equipment were seriously damaged. Scientists point out that many nuclear power plants operate in earthquake zones, a dangerous combination which could lead to fatal accidents. The release of radioactivity from reprocessing spent fuel has damaged citizens’ health, giving rise to cancers in the regions around reprocessing plants in La Hague in France and Sellafield in the UK. Despite this, a plant to reprocess spent nuclear fuel is scheduled to start commercial operations in Rokkasho Village, Aomori Prefecture, in Japan in May.
Thus, we propose that the Global Greens:
• sound a warning that nuclear energy is not a solution for global warming, but instead spells potential ruin for the future of the human race and the Earth.
• work to develop and promote renewable energy and improved energy efficiency in place of nuclear energy and create decentralized democratic societies based on a decentralized energy supply.
• demand that our political leaders take immediate action to reduce energy demand and consumption, and not use increased energy demand as an excuse for introducing or expanding nuclear energy facilities.
• demand that governments around the world give top priority to saving energy and developing renewable energy, and reject the option of nuclear power.
• send this resolution to world leaders (especially members of the G8), emphasizing that stopping global warming is not an excuse to develop nuclear power.