More than 500 organizations from every corner of the U.S. and across the world have signed a statement explicitly rejecting the use of nuclear power as a means of addressing the climate crisis.
The signers include many of the world’s largest and most influential environmental organizations, such as Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth International, Sierra Club, Clean Water Action, Rainforest Action Network and many others, along with major peace groups like Code Pink, Peace Action, and Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, and hundreds of grassroots environmental, sustainable energy, religious, peace and other groups and businesses large and small from 46 states and 38 countries on six continents. 5900 individuals also have signed the statement, and more sign every day.
The statement is being released as the U.S. Congress prepares to consider billions of dollars of taxpayer-backed loan guarantees for new nuclear reactor construction based in large part on the incorrect assumption that nuclear power is a useful means of reducing our carbon emissions.
“We keep hearing from nuclear industry lobbyists that environmentalists are ‘re-examining’ nuclear power,” said Michael Mariotte, executive director of Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS), which has been collecting the signatures. “That re-examination is long over, and it is clear that nuclear power is not helpful at addressing the climate crisis. Indeed, because of its high costs, long construction times, and its own considerable carbon footprint, its use would actually make matters much worse by diverting the resources necessary to take genuinely effective steps to end carbon emissions.”
“Moreover,” Mariotte added, “nuclear power has not successfully addressed any of the problems that caused the failure of its first generation: safety, radioactive waste disposal and the poor economics that led to soaring electric bills, bond defaults and utility bankruptcy. Add to that the newer problem of security, and nuclear power can’t win any rational argument over renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies.”
“Our energy future ultimately must and will be carbon-free and nuclear-free. Fortunately, such a future is attainable, and in time to avert the worst of climate change. But the sooner we get there, the better,” said Mariotte. “It’s time for the Bush Administration and U.S. Congress to let go of their 20th century thinking and start taking meaningful steps to reduce both carbon and radioactive emissions and build a truly sustainable energy future. As we saw in Bali, the world is crying out for action.”
The statement, signed (as of December 17, 2007) by 515 organizations, states simply: “We do not support construction of new nuclear reactors as a means of addressing the climate crisis. Available renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies are faster, cheaper, safer and cleaner strategies for reducing greenhouse emissions than nuclear power.”
The statement has been translated into French, Spanish, Russian and Ukrainian.
A list of U.S. organizational signers can be seen at http://www.nirs.org/petition2/ussigners121707.pdf. A list of international organizational signers is available at http://www.nirs.org/petition2/intsigners120607.pdf. Both lists are updated periodically.
The statement can be signed at: http://www.nirs.org/petition2/index.php
More information on why nuclear power is not a suitable choice for addressing the climate crisis can be found at www.nirs.org (Reports, Papers and Info You Can Use) and http://www.nirs.org/climate/climate.htm