I suggest a campaign about ...

'New nuclear' energy: the great green rip-off

The government has told us that we need more nuclear power stations to combat climate change. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Nuclear power is incredibly expensive and incredibly dangerous. The New Economics Foundation estimates that to pay for building new reactors and processing their waste, nuclear power providers could increase our electricity bills by almost three times the industry estimate. So that's a hike from £45 a quarter to around £100.

Opting for ten new nuclear power plants is a quick fix solution that will leave us with a terrible legacy of cancer-causing radioactive waste that nobody knows what to do with.

If nuclear power is allowed to get a grip on the energy sector now it could kill off any hope of a viable, affordable market in truly renewable forms of energy.

Reports by Greenpeace, the New Economics Foundation, the Sustainable Development Commission, the Centre for Alternative Technology and many other respected organisations have outlined strategies for future energy provision that does not include nuclear power.


We want a future, not a disaster.

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      • Jude commented  · 

        Thank you Marianne!
        MetricisBritish,Nuclear weapons would not be if it were not for nuclear power stations. IT'S THE SAME STUFF!
        You are treating us like idiots who know nothing and have no common sense. In my opinion it's the pro-nuclear lot who have no common sense.
        My comment stands, that great tracts of our planet are already contaminated and no-go areas because of nuclear accidents. I think you are saying that the thousands of deaths (not just the documented ones) are justifiable. Well, if you love nuclear power so much, why not build a reactor in your backyard? I hope you and your children really enjoy it! You probably won't have any grandchildren because everyone will have died of cancer, or radiation sickness from one of the inevitable accidents. All nuclear power stations have accidents....they just don't tell us about them.

      • MetricisBritish commented  · 
      • MetricisBritish commented  · 

        Nuclear weapons and nuclear power are not comparable at all! A nuclear power plant could never explode like a nuclear bomb would and the amount of radiation emitted from a nuclear meltdown is far far lower than the amount of radiation emitted from a nuclear bomb blast.

        Millions were projected to die from the Chernobyl accident. Only 56 deaths were directly attributed to Chernobyl and only a few died from Thyroid cancer while many survived.

        There are areas in the world which have unusually high levels of background radiation. One such area, called Ramsar, Mazandaran in Iran and people are exposed to levels 200 times than normal yet they experience no ill effects.

        I suggest to you and anyone else to stop worrying.

        I highly recommend people to watch some documentaries and discussions to help inform themselves a little bit better:

        BBC Horizon Nuclear Nightmares

        Channel 4 What the Green Movement Got Wrong

        BBC Can We Make a Star on Earth

        TED Does the world need nuclear energy

        TED Bill Gates on energy: Innovating to zero!

      • Jude commented  · 

        MetricisBritish...what planet have you been living on? You are the one who is ignorant and ill informed!
        There are now quite a few areas of the world uninhabitable because of various nuclear accidents and bomb tests How many more do you want?
        Your suggestion that the effects of Chernobyl are not as bad as expected is insulting to all the people still suffering from disease today, and to all the people who died and are still dying. My Brother-in-law has suffered years of terrible illhealth, including blindness because of the bomb tests in Australia.
        Shame on you.

      • MetricisBritish commented  · 

        What an incredibly, ill informed, alarmist, ignorant suggestion! If people want to stem the enviromental impact of pollution from fossil fuel then nuclear is the only realistic option available until technologies for renewable energy sources become realistically feasible.

        Coal power plants emit far higher levels of radiation than nuclear power plants due to traces of radioactive Thorium in coal being emitted into the atmosphere from burning.

        Even 25 years on after Chernobyl, the effects of radiation fallout has not been anywhere near as devastating as predicated and the back ground radiation levels in some parts of Pripyat have returned to relatively safe levels.

        For the sake of the future of this planet, educate yourself and stop fear mongering about nuclear power. This is why the USA stopped building nuclear power plants and ended up building more coal power stations.

        With an ever increasing population and increasing demands for power as well as the introduction of electric cars, it is important that this country invests in the future enviromentally and technologically. Renewable technologies still need time to progress and until that time comes to fully utilise them, nuclear power is the only option if we are serious about reducing pollution and damage to the world.

        France is a prime example of a country which generates the majority of its electricity from nuclear power. There are countries all over the world with nuclear power plants. The USA has 104, France has 58, Japan has 55, Russia has 32, South Korea has 21, India has 20 and the UK has only 19! In total there are 441 nuclear power plants around the world and only two major accidents. The magnitude of the Fukushima accident is nowhere near anything as bad as Chernobyl.

      • Jude commented  · 

        I agree. ANYTHING before more nuclear. I can still see the look of fear on my 15 year old Son's face when he met us at the door with the news of the Chernobyl disaster in 1986. I am still angry today.


      • Jude commented  · 

        This is part of interview with Jonathan Schell, which shows beautifully that we aren't as clever as we think we are...

        SPIEGEL: You say that dealing with nuclear energy is like gambling with "Mother Nature's power." Why is it so totally different from other sources of energy?
        Schell: Because it's so colossally more powerful. Comparable energy can be found, at best, in the center of stars. It's basically not found on earth naturally, and it's only through our own scientific brilliance that we've been able to introduce it into the terrestrial setting. But, unfortunately, we're not as advanced morally, practically and politically as we are scientifically, so we are not prepared to control this force properly. The most dangerous illusion we have concerning nuclear energy is that we can control it.

      • mandy commented  · 

        We need to start using natural energy more solar panels and turbines.
        Say no to nuclear.

      • steve commented  · 

        Stop Nuclear

      • steve commented  · 

        The guy that invented Nuclear killed himself after creating it becouse it was very dangerous. And looking at Japans problems lately is even more of a reason not to have it.
        Green energy please: wind, water

      • Jude commented  · 

        I have written to my M.P.(Mark Harper, Con. Forest of Dean) 3 times, but have not heard back from him yet!

      • Andrew Crow commented  · 

        Matthew (Nicholson), You have a point. And I think you are quite correct in your assertion that the Japanese are not 'differently competent' to ourselves. If your MP thinks differently she may not be racist but I'm fairly sure she is wrong. You do well to withhold your electoral support and I say that unaware of which party banner she stands under.
        My belief is that current and intended future practice is to store all nuclear waste proximal to its production site, overground, until it 'cools down'. I'm not entirely clear about how long this cooling takes, but once cool the intention, in some quarters, is that it be transported to West Cumbria and put into a large purpose-built hole in the ground. This we are seriously expected to believe is a responsible approach to the long-term 'disposal' of radioactive waste. Personally I'm not convinced.

      • Dominic Smith commented  · 

        Why do we drag our heals with renewable technologies and investment into this science! We need to view this as an opportunity for the UK to lead the way, not an excuse to rely on this now dated technology-one look at the recent terrible events in Japan and the Fukushima Daiichi's nuclear power station makes you realise that we need to invest money, time and initiative into a safer, cleaner future for all!

        please sign this petition until 38 degrees raises one;


      • Dave commented  · 

        Take a look at this British company with there remake of an old idea but with new technology, have a look at the videos very interesting. Coal is hear to stay at the moment it's how you use it which needs to change, hydrogen is possibly the future..


        This company has excellent partners and some very good reports, it gets my vote to a cleaner future..

      • Jude commented  · 

        Letter from Climate Energy World Future Council Foundation: "I don't know the real intention of Monbiot to raise the question of radiation consequences, but there is no doubt that nuclear radiation is one of the deadliest threats to human beings. Questioning scientific sources for that is one thing, but downplaying the devastating consequences of Chernobyl and leaving aside the world's most eminent scientific source for that is cynical. Monbiot's article is suggestive of neglecting the victims of Chernobyl as the UN Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (Unscear) only acknowledged a relatively small number. It is also surprising that the author does not consider the World Health Organisation, the UN Environment Prog! ramme and Unicef. They have counted 148,247 invalids until December 2000 directly related to Chernobyl."

        "Germany will shut down all its nuclear power stations by 2020, according to the government’s Secretary of State for the Environment and Nuclear Safety, Jürgen Becker. His comments were made earlier today to Reuters during a meeting of the International Renewable Energy Association (IREA) in the United Arab Emirates"

      • Dean Ashton commented  · 

        The UKs current aging nuclear reactors will need to be replaced soon. We can't replace them with coal or gas because of climate change and CO2. The question is do we replace them with nuclear or renewables? Current nuclear solutions are costly and produce a lot of radioactive waste. Next generation thorium reactors are unproven and the costs for this are not fully known. Current renewable technology is coming down in price dramatically, but are too small scale to replace nuclear at the moment. Next generation large scale renewable power plants are still a short way off, however, they are already proven in small scale trial power stations in many countries (e.g. Spain, Australia, USA during the 1980s) in comparison to thorium reactors which are not proven anywhere yet, they are just drawings so far. The cost of large scale renewable energy power plants is only going to come down as technology improves, whereas thorium reactors will probably go up, because the basic technique is not proven yet.

        Nuclear is so costly because you have to protect against the types of natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods, tornados, loss of electricity, fires etc... everything must be covered, or else you have a risk of radiation exposure.

        And if energy companies take shortcuts with safety measures at nuclear power plants, they could affect many people by releasing radiation. If large scale renewable energy plant companies skips some maintenance to save money... then they generate less electricity and cost themselves money, but don't affect public safety.

        Can I direct you to this article in TIME.COM, where it says that the US didn't have to close down any new nuclear programs when the fear of Fukushima hit - because no investors on Wall Street want to invest in nuclear power because it is too costly (to build nuclear power stations that protect against natural disasters).

        Rather than subsidise nuclear, the government should create a "manhattan project for renewables" where the smartest scientists and engineers get together at a single compound and come up with new technology to make renewables both more efficient and also very large scale.

      • Jude commented  · 

        For a look at just how long radioactivity can hang around, consider Germany's wild boars. A quarter century after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in the Soviet Union carried a cloud of radiation across Europe, these animals are radioactive enough that people are urged not to eat them. And the mushrooms the pigs dine on aren't fit for consumption either. Germany's experience shows what could await Japan – if the problems at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant get any worse.

        Huffington Post 1st April 2011


      • Dave at Vote For Yourself commented  · 

        This subject will be debated until the public get to decide. The idea that we have to invest in nuclear because fossil fuels are diminishing and that renewables won't fill the gap is false. Renewables can fill the gap, here's how. We could spend the budget for new nuclear power stations building solar panel factories and train thousands of people to install them on every roof. 25 square metres of hybrid PV panels (these produce thermal and electricity - that's a 17 x 17 foot array), would provide all the heat and electricity for an average home in Northern Europe. You'd be pumping PV electricity into the grid and then drawing electricity back down. In the winter you might use more electricity than you produced and might need a boost for heating. Solay renewables are in their infancy, as the economies of scale applied to their manufacture they would become less expensive and the R&D would improve their performance. There is absolutely no danger at all going down this route, try saying that about nuclear power.

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