Magazine article New Internationalist

YOUR VERDICT on Last Month's Argument: Is Nuclear Power Necessary for a Carbon-Free Future?

Magazine article New Internationalist

YOUR VERDICT on Last Month's Argument: Is Nuclear Power Necessary for a Carbon-Free Future?

Article excerpt

NUCLEAR POWER IS NEVER SAFE, NOT necessary and not carbon-free.


OF COURSE NOT - HOW CAN THE MOST destructive, unsafe and environmentally catastrophic power source ever conceived ever be necessary?


YES, WE MUST CONTINUE CHANGING OUR culture to be more efficient and eventually have an eco-state, but this will not happen fast enough to prevent climate change. As well as lacking political will, we now lack the resources as Europe deals with recession. Nuclear is not the ideal solution but it is the only realistic one, in order to secure a lowcarbon future.

Gareth Cassin

NUCLEAR IS PLAIN EXPENSIVE AND LIKELY to get more so; the reasons why states do nuclear has everything to do with cross-subsidizing equally unnecessary nuclear weapons and very little to do with environmental concern (the energy industry lobbyists help a little too). Renewables aren't cheap, but are likely to get cheaper.


IN SHORT, NO. IF WE BELIEVE THE STATISTICS about climate change, there is no way nuclear could rise to the challenge. If we built both replacement nuclear power plants and new ones, we would be using the greatest part of the carbon footprint for nuclear at the very time that we need to be decreasing. By the time the plants were carbon neutral it would be far too late. And we haven't come close to discussing the health consequences of radioactivity.

Dr Dal· Dawar

TOO MANY PEOPLE CONFUSE ELECTRICITY and energy. At best, nuclear produces 19 per cent of Britain's electricity, but this is only 4 per cent of our total energy use. Furthermore, the actual net energy gain from nuclear is quite low if the complete fuel cycle is accounted for, and approaches zero when low-grade uranium ores are used. Nuclear is potentially disastrous in almost all respects and concentrating vast funding and effort on this already-discredited technology will guarantee that we never achieve energy sustainability.

Brian Edwards

I WAS VERY CONCERNED TO SEE THAT you chose [2010 Green Party candidate] Chris Goodall to give the 'Yes' argument. In December, Caroline Lucas MP, the Green Party leader, pledged her support for the 'No need for nuclear, unnecessary, expensive and you pay the bill' campaign, which asked the government to change its mind over the building of new nuclear power stations and for a full-scale investigation into the need for them. …

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