All over Europe the powerful nuclear industry is running a major PR and lobbying campaign to try and convince the public that nuclear power is the only solution to meet our energy needs and avoid the threat of climate change. The Nuclear Industry wants us to believe that nuclear power is safe, and that we have almost found a solution for the storage of radioactive nuclear waste.
The facts are rather different:-
- Nuclear power produces nuclear waste which remains toxic for tens of thousands of years.
- No one has yet demonstrated a safe way to dispose of the radioactive waste.
- The world supply of uranium, the basic fuel for nuclear power, will run out within 30 years - long before our oil reserves.
- Nuclear power has generated the biggest losses of any industry in history and massive Government subsidies are required. The Cabinet Office have costed nuclear power as 45% more expensive than renewable energy sources and the clean up costs for existing nuclear power facilities are over £70 billion.
- Nuclear power is dangerous. Some hill farms in Scotland still have high levels of radioactivity after the Chernobyl disaster in 1986. Since then, over 20 serious releases of radioactivity have occurred and the operator of Dounreay was recently fined £2 million for a serious spillage of radioactive material
- Nuclear power was introduced as a cover to produce nuclear weapons. The tritium booster was made at Chapelhall near Dumfries and the plutonium explosive was made at Calderhall near Sellafield.. New nuclear power facilities would likely fuel the nuclear arms race.
- Nuclear power plants use as much energy as conventional power facilities taking into account the uranium mining, enrichment and transportation; construction and decommissioning of the nuclear stations; and the processing, transport and storage of the radioactive waste.
- Scotland's energy needs can be met by investing in renewable sources of power and eliminating waste with better insulated buildings and more efficient lighting and appliances. Germany is closing its nuclear stations and doing just that. The UK Government's 2003 White Paper also advocated this, but Tony Blair has since caved in to the nuclear lobbyists.