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New report: global nuclear industry’s future not looking good

A status report released Thursday by independent consultants makes no bones about – not only the health risks associated with nuclear energy, but the economic impracticality of this kind of energy production as a whole. You don’t have to get very far into the report to find that facilities peaked in their output a decade ago, and have been in decline ever since

 an increasingly redundant and dangerous industry.

radiation-sign-sadThe diminishing glow of nuclear energy Greenpeace International  by Arin de Hoog – July 15, 2013 In France, Greenpeace activists got past security and climbed reactor structures at the Tricastin nuclear power plant. They unfurled a banner which read: ACCIDENT NUCLÉAIRE AU TRICASTIN FRANÇOIS HOLLANDE : PRÉSIDENT DE LA CATASTROPHE? (Nuclear Accident: François Hollande The President Of The Disaster?). Earlier this morning, other activists projected a crack onto the superstructure of the plant illustrating that French President, Hollande, needs to shut down 20 nuclear reactors in the country by 2020 in keeping with his promise to cut nuclear power from three-quarters to half by 2025.

The projection of the crack, by the way, is not foreshadowing an eminent condition. Cracks have been found in the reactor vessels of several plants in France, and throughout the world.

In South Korea our office there has been hard at work drawing attention to the dangers of nuclear energy. Last Wednesday saw several climbers suspended from the Gwangan Bridge in Busan showing Koreans that the Gori power plant poses a grave risk to the people living in its proximity. Today, the Rainbow Warrior could be seen from the same nuclear plant – the oldest facility in the country – with a very simple message printed on a banner stretched between her masts: CHERNOBYL, FUKUSHIMA, BUSAN?

The banner onboard the Rainbow Warrior is telling in its simplicity. It creates the spectre of Chernobyl and Fukushima, and by omission Three Mile Island, Windscale and the far too many other nuclear and radiation accidents across the world. It brings to mind images of people whose health has been affected by radiation, and vast swathes of fall-out wasteland which leaves burn scars for generations after the accident. Also telling, because the message itself is simple: Nuclear energy is neither secure, safe nor even practical.

A status report released Thursday by independent consultants makes no bones about – not only the health risks associated with nuclear energy, but the economic impracticality of this kind of energy production as a whole. You don’t have to get very far into the report to find that facilities peaked in their output a decade ago, and have been in decline ever since. This is in the face of an ever-increasing global energy consumption. It begs the question, what’s the point of nuclear energy if demands can be met in a sustainable way?…….

There is something else that draws people out of their homes and onto the streets to protest against nuclear power, as they did in Guandong province, China, last week. It is that, as long as nuclear fatly wedges itself into the turnstile though which energy expenditure passes, we won’t be able to seriously talk about clean, safe and renewable power. The 37-billion Chinese yuan that would have gone to a uranium processing facility in the Longwan Industrial Park can be put towards a sustainable way to generate energy. A way that doesn’t degenerate the planet or sicken and kill people.

“The gap between nuclear rhetoric and nuclear reality has been a fundamental impediment to wise energy policy decisions for half a century now,” wrote Professor Bradford. Turning the last half-century around to wiser energy policy decisions shouldn’t be left to policy-makers, industry leaders, or even the small group of French or South Koreans who shine a light on an increasingly redundant and dangerous industry. It is up to all of us to push nuclear energy off the table, for the health of ourselves and of our planet. http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/news/Blogs/makingwaves/the-diminishing-glow-of-nuclear-energy/blog/45939/

July 16, 2013 - Posted by | general

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