Nuclear power is dangerous, dirty and expensive. The government is currently putting a framework in place to kick-start a new generation of nuclear power stations. Now is the time to create a massive public outcry and stop this plan in its tracks. Please join us and use this leaflet to counter the nuclear myths.
Here are some of the reasons why:
- Mismanagement of nuclear waste over the last 60 years has meant that radiation has already contaminated our environment(1). Radiation causes cancer and eventually kills.
- The nuclear industry is already struggling to deal with 500,000 cubic metres of nuclear waste being stored around the UK. There is no approved method of long-term storage.
- March 2010: nuclear power station operator, Magnox, fined £250,000 for allowing 14 years of radioactive leaks from a holding tank at Bradwell nuclear power station in Essex (2).
- April 2010: Sellafield nuclear processing facility exposed for dumping five bags of radioactive waste in a landfill site after a faulty scanner passed them as safe (3).
- Since 2000, there have been near-disasters at reactors in Sweden (4), the Netherlands (5), Japan (6) and France (7).
- The nuclear industry says that the new generation of reactors will be safer. But human error, earthquakes, floods or terrorism can never be ruled out.
- Trains carrying dangerous nuclear waste travel through the UK's major cities regularly. This is dangerous.
- The Sustainable Development Commission estimates that a nuclear power programme will only deliver a cut in carbon dioxide emissions of 2.4% by 2020 (8).
- Uranium (nuclear fuel) extraction and processing is one of the most dangerous and carbon-intensive forms of mining.
- Nuclear waste from new reactors will be even more toxic than existing radioactive by-products (9).
- The current decommissioning and clean-up costs for the UK’s existing nuclear industry is equivalent to a bill of over £1,600 for every person in the UK (10).
- Construction of the first new EPR reactor in Finland is 3 years behind schedule and is £1bn over-budget.
- UK taxpayers have always subsidised the nuclear industry to manage nuclear waste, insure against accidents and provide protection against terrorism.
- When David Cameron says new reactors will be built without public subsidy, he means subsidies will be provided under another name.
- It’s likely that the cost of building new reactors will be transferred to our electricity use - and energy bills will soar as a result.
What’s the alternative?
- Reports by respected organisations in both the UK and Europe have shown that there are more than enough renewable sources of power to meet present and future needs. Reducing our energy demand is the key.
- Renewables are cheaper, can be built more quickly and have none of the dangers associated with nuclear energy. They could also create thousands of new jobs. What we need is a government that has the vision and courage to make this happen.
- The development of smart-grids will allow a much more flexible supply of power from different sources to meet different demands. Nuclear energy is a dinosaur in the mix. It has no place in our future.
A few of the alternative strategies available can be found via:
- Centre for Alternative Technology’s report: Zero Carbon Britain
- Sustainable Development Commission’s report: Nuclear power in a low carbon economy
- Greenpeace’s report: Decentralising Power: an energy revolution for the 21st century
- EnergyFair: a wealth of reports at http://www.mng.org.uk/gh/scenarios.htm
Before it’s too late….
…join Kick Nuclear. We are part of the Stop Nuclear Power Network, a national alliance of groups campaigning against new nuclear power.
Over the next few months we will be building up the momentum against a nuclear future. Join our events or plan your own. We need to make a massive amount of noise, very quickly. For further information go to: http://kicknuclear.org Or contact us on: kicknuclear [at] kicknuclear.org or 07506-006597.
We are calling for a national boycott of EDF Energy – the company that has most to gain from new nuclear. If you are an EDF Energy customer, please make the switch. Our website provides a step-by-step guide to changing companies online. It should take less than 10 minutes. Find out more at: http://boycottedf.org.uk/
For our special ant-nuclear broadsheet send a stamped, addressed envelope to: Kick Nuclear c/o 5 Caledonian Road, London, N1 9DX. For bulk orders, please email us with the details.
Donations gratefully received. Please make cheques payable to: Stop Nuclear Power Network London and mail to the above address.
8. The role of nuclear power in a low carbon economy, Paper 2: reducing Co2 emissions – nuclear and alternatives, Sustainable Development Commission, p 29
10. Switching Power, Greenpeace, March 2006, p2
This text is from a flyer produced by Kick Nuclear. Download the attached flyer and distribute it.