While debate in Australia and around the world continues to grow on how best to address the vital issue of climate change, the nuclear industry has advocated that nuclear power may be a necessity. Far from being a solution however, MAPW believes that nuclear power will generate numerous additional problems to global security and human survival.
The arguments against nuclear power are many, but in brief:
- There exists a strong nexus between the use of uranium for civil purposes, like nuclear power, and those for military purposes. Because of this link, MAPW has long opposed the design, construction and commissioning of nuclear power stations, enrichment and reprocessing plants, and waste storage and disposal facilities anywhere in Australia.
- Recent studies, referenced below, clearly make a link between nuclear power production, and the health of children and workers.
- Nuclear power is one of the most expensive means of generating electricity.
- Nuclear power is one of the most protected and heavily subsidised industries in the world. Many cost estimates from proponents fail to take these into account. In the mid-1990s, governments worldwide were subsidising fossil fuels and nuclear power to the tune of $US250-300 billion per annum. Global subsidies for conventional (fossil fuel and nuclear) energy remain far higher than subsidies for safer alternatives like efficiency and renewables.
- Nuclear power is highly dependent on fossil fuels. In the exploration and mining phases, the milling, processing and the transporting of processed ore, the building of reactors, the global movement of spent and treated fuel rods, the passage of nuclear wastes (with nowhere to go), and the final decommissioning of reactors past their use-by date, fossil fuels are extensively used.
- See our page on nuclear accidents, including resources on the 2011 Japan crisis
- Read MAPW’s fact sheet on links between childhood leukaemia and nuclear power
- An Illusion of Protection: the unavoidable limitations of safeguards on nuclear materials and the export of uranium to China – report from MAPW and the Australian Conservation Foundation, 2006
- Nuclear power: no solution to climate change – detailed 2006 report from MAPW, Friends of the Earth and others.
- See our radiation page for more references on the health effects of radiation
- MAPW policy on nuclear power and uranium mining, 1987