On the Saturday 17th June CND hosted a successful and significant anti-nuclear power conference, No Need for Nuclear: The Renewables are Here at Conway Hall in central London. With over 150 attendees of all ages, and 17 speakers including academics, MPs and activists, the conference was a great success. The conference started with a video message from Caroline Lucas MP, currently representing Parliamentary CND in New York at negotiations on a nuclear ban treaty. The remainder of the conference was broken into 4 sections: What’s wrong with Nuclear power? and The Politics of Nuclear Power followed by UK Energy Demand, Energy Supply, and The Renewables after lunch.
CND 28th June 2017 read more »
Decisions about nuclear energy require honest and open conversation, informed by up-to-date information. Especially as nuclear power could play an important role in reducing greenhouse gasses and be a viable alternative to fossil fuels. That’s according to ‘Making Sense of Nuclear’ a new public guide launching today (Wednesday 28thJune). Sense About Science produced the guide with input from leading experts from the nuclear industry and academia. These include The University of Manchester’s Dalton Nuclear Institute, Imperial College London, National Nuclear Laboratory, the Institute of Physics and Energy for Humanity. The guide explains what we know about nuclear energy, how that knowledge has changed in recent years and the impact it has had on the debate around nuclear energy. Professor Francis Livens, Director of the University’s Dalton Nuclear Institute, said: ‘The nuclear industry and government nuclear programmes have in the past been quite secretive and closed. And while that has improved, up-to-date information about the sector must continue to be made available. We need it to inform discussions about alternatives to oil, gas and coal.’
Manchester University 28th June 2017 read more »
David Robert Grimes: Fears about nuclear energy run deep: the 1986 Chernobyl disaster remains a towering linchpin in anti-nuclear narratives, presented as an irrefutable case that nuclear energy is inherently unsafe. These claims are so profoundly entrenched that it is almost accepted as common knowledge that the Chernobyl disaster killed thousands. Yet, as I’ve written here before, these claims do not stand up to scrutiny and persist in the face of report after report to the contrary. Years of subsequent investigation place the death toll of the disaster at approximately 43 people, with deleterious health effects failing to materialise at any appreciable rate. That this information is surprising to many is indicative of quite how polarised the discussion on such a vital topic has been. Much of the reason for this is ideological – Greenpeace is but one organisation that has been criticised for releasing misleading anti-nuclear information, claiming that up to 200,000 deaths are attributable to Chernobyl. This figure has been roundly debunked, but predictably strikes fear into the public conscience, encouraging panic in place of reason. The more recent 2011 Fukushima disaster has been become a similar focus for nuclear panic, despite the fact that no one has died nor is ever likely to from this event. The spectre of the plant looms so large in the public consciousness that we have seemingly forgotten that the cause of the meltdown was a massive tsunami that claimed about 16,000 lives, itself potentially exacerbated by climate change. There is a dark irony then in the fact that the ensuing kneejerk reaction led to the closure of Germany’s nuclear plants and their replacement with heavily polluting coal plants.
Guardian 28th June 2017 read more »
New nuclear power plants are needed to meet the world’s rising demand for electricity, according to the director general of the World Nuclear Association. Speaking in London County Hall at the Nuclear Industry Association’s Nuclear New Build 2017 conference, Agneta Rising said progress had been good in recent years – particularly in countries such as China and India – but more was needed. “The level of new build remains high, with 61 reactors under construction at the end of 2016,” she said. “But the pace of new construction starts must accelerate to provide the reliable electricity needed to support global economic growth.” According to the World Nuclear Association’s annual performance report, 2016 was a bumper year, with more than 9 gigawatts of new nuclear capacity added worldwide. This represents the largest annual increase for more than 25 years.
IMech 28th June 2017 read more »