The United Nations Climate Change Conference that took place in Paris in 2015 engendered a new global commitment to clean energy and reinvigorated discussion of nuclear power as a solution to climate change. It’s low-carbon. It’s technology we have. And political and economic support can be found among the elite. Yet, this turns a blind eye to nuclear power’s health legacies, seen most clearly in rural uranium communities, where the technology continues to make residents ill well after the Second World War and the Cold War ended. Individuals in hundreds of such communities share similar experiences but lack the power to tell their stories. Yet the stories demand to be heard, and the tellers need help for the unsustainable damage they and their communities endure – the very communities poised to produce much of the uranium needed to fuel a nuclear renaissance. In fact, the $54 billion-worth of United States federal loans pre-approved for subsidised nuclear reactor construction should also fund cancer screening and treatment facilities in affected communities. If the government funds nuclear power as a renewable energy source near these communities, as is currently occurring in the state of Utah, then monies should also go toward sustainable community development.
Aeon 22nd Feb 2016 read more »