22 November 2005: for immediate release

The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament today launched its case against a new generation of nuclear power stations, ‘Nuclear Power: Why we say no to a new generation’. As reports indicate that Tony Blair has made up his mind to build new power stations in the UK CND has slammed the government’s attempts to repackage nuclear power as the clean green solution to climate change and outlined the case for a genuinely sustainable, global and green solution to our energy needs.

Kate Hudson, Chair of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament,

“Government spin doctors and the nuclear industry myth makers are working over time to repackage nuclear power as the green solution to climate change. They want to shape public opinion because they are about to announce a new build programme of nuclear power stations and they know that we won’t like it. Nuclear power is dirty and dangerous. It’s not the answer to Britain’s energy needs and is not a solution to global warming. We need a safe, genuinely sustainable, global, and green solution.”

Nuclear Power : Why we say no to a new generation
Nuclear power is not the answer to climate change

Nuclear power is not carbon emission free! The whole nuclear cycle from uranium mining onwards produces more greenhouse gases than most renewable energy sources with up to 50% more emissions than wind power. Doubling nuclear power in the UK would only reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 8% because the electricity sector accounts for 1/4 to 1/3 of all carbon emissions (transport and industry account for most of the rest).

Climate change is happening now. A new nuclear power station takes 10 years to build and longer to generate electricity. Wind farms can be up and running in less than a year.

It’s expensive. The nuclear industry is massively subsidised by the British public. Sizewell B, the UK’s most recent power station cost the taxpayer around £3.7billion just to install, and decomissioning the current ageing power stations will cost us an estimated £56billion.

It’s not sustainable. The reserves of Uranium ores used to generate nuclear power are going to run out. There is only 50 years worth of high uranium ores left in the world. There may be only 200 years left of all uranium ores including poor uranium ores which take more energy to mine and process and thus release more carbon emissions.

Nuclear power is dirty and dangerous

Nuclear power threatens the environment and people’s health. It produces enormous amounts of cancerous toxic radioactive waste, some of which is dangerous for thousands of years. No safe solution has yet been devised to store it.

Uranium mining kills. Uranium mining is the first step in the nuclear power cycle; it has taken the lives of many miners all over the world causing environmental contamination, cancers and nuclear waste.

Nuclear accidents. The risk of terrible nuclear accidents like Chernobyl, Three Mile Island and Windscale (Sellafield) will plague a new generation of power stations as it did the first.

A terrorist target. Nuclear power carries with it the risk of nuclear terrorism. In this age of uncertainty dirty bombs and attacks on power stations are a terrifying threat.

The proliferation of nuclear weapons is inextricably linked to nuclear power by virtue of a shared need for enriched uranium, and through the generation of plutonium as a by-product of spent nuclear fuel. The two industries have been linked since the very beginning and a nuclear weapons free world requires a non-nuclear energy policy.

We need real action to save the planet now!

We need a safe, genuinely sustainable, global and green solution to our energy needs. A combination of renewable energy sources and energy efficiency measures which are safe, effective and proven technologies are available now. The government must live up to its Kyoto agreements and invest in sustainable clean solutions to climate change.


Notes to Editor:

1. For further information and interviews please contact Ruth Tanner CND’s Press & Communications Officer on 0207 7002350 or 07968 420859

2. The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) is one of Europe’s biggest single-issue peace campaigns, with over 32,000 members in the UK. CND campaigns for the abolition of all nuclear weapons everywhere.