[ RadSafe ] Nuclear "debate" at the Montreal Climate Conference
jimm at WPI.EDU
Thu Dec 8 12:56:12 CST 2005
This makes a strong report on the "debate" as articulated by Patrick Moore
and his former associates, in a significant venue, along with the "related
Regards, Jim Muckerheide
Nuclear Energy Debate Turns Radioactive at Climate Conference
By Marc Morano
CNSNews.com Senior Staff Writer
December 08, 2005
Montreal (CNSNews.com) - Nuclear energy would reduce the world's dependence
on fossil fuels and help cut greenhouse gas emissions, said advocates at the
United Nations Climate Change Conference in Montreal.
"Expanding nuclear energy is one way that we can actually [reduce] reliance
on fossil fuels in a big way," said Patrick Moore, a founding member of
Greenpeace. Moore left the group in the 1980s after becoming disillusioned
with what he considered the group's radical approach to environmental
concerns. He currently heads the Canadian-based environmental advocacy group
Greenspirit Strategies, and he blames liberal green groups for halting the
expansion of nuclear energy.
"It is the environmental movement itself that is the primary impediment to
the reduction of CO2 emission and fossil fuel consumption because they refuse
to support the obvious alternatives" (nuclear power and hydro power), Moore
told Cybercast News Service. Moore's pro-nuclear discussion at the U.N.
conference on Monday evening drew skepticism and jeers from his former
Moore, who rejects alarmist predictions of human-caused "global warming,"
also praised the United States for refusing to ratify the Kyoto Protocol,
calling the treaty "a colossal waste of time and money." (See related article
But it was Moore's promotion of nuclear energy that met swift resistance by
the movement he helped to found.
"History has shown [nuclear energy] is a problematic technology," said Kaisa
Kosonen, an energy campaigner for Greenpeace Nordic, told Cybercast News
Kosonen wants to see existing nuclear power phased out. She warned that
creating more nuclear material creates attractive targets for terrorists. "I
would not take that risk," she said.
Friends of the Earth International (FOEI) shared Greenpeace's anti-nuclear
"We don't support it. [Nuclear] represents a massive challenge, not only
economically, but radioactive waste still represents a massive problem and
quite frankly it's not particularly popular with the public," said Catherine
Pearce, an international climate campaigner for FOEI.
Both Greenpeace and FOEI want to encourage the world to turn to renewable
energy sources such as solar and wind power.
Fossil fuels currently make up about 85 percent of the world's energy
consumption, followed by nuclear and hydro power at seven percent each. Only
one percent of energy consumption comes from sources such as solar, wind and
geothermal, according to Moore.
"We don't see any scenario where windmills and solar panels alone can solve
the problem [of fossil fuel dependence,]" Moore said.
Moore praised nuclear energy for its reactor safety record and waste storage
methods. He also dismissed concerns about two high-profile nuclear reactor
accidents in the past.
"[Pennsylvania's] Three Mile Island was a success story," he said. "Radiation
did not escape from Three Mile Island [in 1979]," Moore said, because a
containment structure prevented radioactive leakage.
"[The Soviet Union's] Chernobyl [accident] was a sad accident waiting to
happen because of the Soviet design and bad management," Moore said of the
1986 incident that killed 56 people.
Moore also dismissed fears of a nuclear plant being the target of terrorism.
"Sure there is a possibility of nuclear terrorism, but all technology can be
used for harm," he said.
"You don't ban technologies that are being used for good purposes just
because they can also be used for evil," he added.
Anti-nuclear movies such as the Jane Fonda's "The China Syndrome" in 1979
further raised public fears about nuclear energy, Moore said.
"We have a population that is more afraid of nuclear when its record is far
safer than many other technologies that we have," he said. "There is no basis
for this fear. Nuclear is safe."
More than 8,000 government leaders, environmentalists and scientists are
attending the U.N. conference to discuss ways of further limiting greenhouse
gases beyond the provision set out in the Kyoto Protocol. Organizers are
calling the conference, which runs until Dec. 9, the largest meeting since
the Kyoto Climate Change Conference in 1997.
See Related Articles:
Former Greenpeace Co-Founder Praises US for Rejecting Kyoto (Dec. 8, 2005)
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