Nuclear Energy Myths Exposed

October 5 , 2005

A COALITION of environment and public health groups has branded nuclear energy dangerous, dirty and no solution to climate change in a new report.

The report Nuclear Energy: No Solution to Climate Change will be launched Thursday night at Northcote Town Hall by the president of the Medical Association for Prevention of War Dr Tilman Ruff.

It refutes claims that nuclear power is safe, clean and will combat climate change, and comes amid strong debate in Australia over the nuclear issue which has included in recent days:

  • Former PM Bob Hawke proposing Australia becomes a dump for the world’s nuclear waste;
  • WA opposition leader overruling Liberal state conference recommendation and ruling out support of nuclear power and nuclear waste dump (Victorian Liberals will debate the issue at their state conference this weekend)
  • Shadow Minister for Resources Martin Ferguson breaking ranks with his Labor colleagues in calling for changes to the ALP’s nuclear policy

Dr Ruff said nuclear weapons posed the greatest immediate threat to the health and welfare of humans.

``Nuclear technology is inherently the most hazardous technology ever invented. Nothing can alter that it intrinsically produces vast quantities of the most toxic substances known, hazardous for up to hundreds of thousands of years; or that its technology and products can be used to build the most destructive weapons ever invented.’’

Dr Jim Green, author of the report and national nuclear campaigner for Friends of the Earth, said it was time to explode the myth that nuclear power would combat climate change.

``Even if we doubled nuclear power output by 2050 it would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by just 5 per cent - less than a tenth of the reduction required,’’ Dr Green said.

``Supporters of nuclear power as a clean energy source fail to mention the amount of fossil fuels needed to mine uranium in the first place or the amount of radioactive waste that must be dumped after this so-called clean electricity is produced.’’

Nuclear Energy: No Solution to Climate Change was produced by Friends of the Earth, the Australian Conservation Foundation, Greenpeace, the Medical Association for the Prevention of War, the Public Health Association of Australia and Climate Action Network Australia. It will be launched 7pm Thursday October 6 at Northcote Town Hall.

Dr Jim Green Friends of the Earth 0417 318 368
Dr Tilman Ruff Medical Association for Prevention of War 0431 475 465