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LETTER: Barlow, Atleo demand global nuclear phase-out

Yesterday, the World Future Council stated that the “human community…should phase out, abolish and replace (nuclear) technologies with alternatives that do not threaten present and future generations. This applies to nuclear weapons as well as to nuclear power reactors.” Among the signatories to this statement were Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow and National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations Shawn A-in-chut Atleo, both members of the World Future Council.

The World Future Council, a respected, independent body founded in Hamburg that ‘speaks on behalf of policy solutions that serve the interests of future generations’, said, “We extend our deepest sympathies to the people of Japan who have experienced a devastating earthquake and tsunami followed by severe damage to the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. We commend the brave individuals who are risking their lives to prevent the escape of massive amounts of radiation from the damaged nuclear reactors and spent fuel pools at Fukushima Daiichi.”

Their statement highlighted, “In addition to accidental or purposeful destruction, nuclear power plants pose other threats to humanity and to the human future. The large amounts of radioactive wastes that are created by nuclear power generation will remain highly toxic for many times longer than human civilization has existed, and there is currently no long-term solution to dealing with the threats these radioactive wastes pose to the environment and human health.  Further, nuclear power plants, with their large societal subsidies, have diverted financial and human resources from the development of safe and reliable forms of renewable energy.”

And they noted, “Nuclear power is neither the answer to modern energy problems nor a panacea for climate change challenges. There is no solution of problems by creating more problems. Nuclear power doesn’t add up economically, environmentally or socially. Of all the energy options, nuclear is the most capital intensive to establish, decommissioning is prohibitively expensive and the financial burden continues long after the plant is closed.”

The full letter can be read at http://www.worldfuturecouncil.org/jointstatement.html. To read more about the World Future Council, go to http://www.worldfuturecouncil.org/about_us.html.

The Council of Canadians rejects nuclear power because it poses an unacceptable risk to people and the environment. Council of Canadians staff and chapters are currently campaigning against the proposed shipments of nuclear waste from the Bruce Power nuclear plant on the Great Lakes, the disposal of nuclear waste in Saskatchewan, and the building of two new nuclear reactors on the north shore of Lake Ontario east of Toronto.