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World without Wars and Violence

International Humanist Organisation - Official Website

In the nuclear lottery, there are 6 billion people playing and thousands will lose

In the nuclear lottery, there are 6 billion people playing and thousands will lose

With one week to go before the 25th anniversary of Chernobyl, World without Wars has published it’s official position for the first time in this field. They are calling for an end to nuclear energy and for criminal charges against TEPCO executives and members of the Japanese Government responsible for the criminal negligence.


World without Wars and Violence, the humanist organisation dedicated to the fight against nuclear weapons among other issues, today came out against nuclear energy, citing the Fukushima disaster as one of many reasons why it is urgent to make plans within 10 years to decommission all 442 operational plants on the planet and move towards rapid development of renewable energy sources that do not contribute to carbon dioxide emissions, funded by reductions in military spending.

With one week to go before the 25th anniversary of Chernobyl, World without Wars has published it’s official position for the first time in this field.
“Our primary focus has been, and will always be, wars and violence, especially the eradication of nuclear weapons which we did so much to promote during the World March in 2009,” said International Spokesperson for the organisation, Tony Robinson, “but we felt we couldn’t stay silent on the matter of nuclear energy when the Fukushima disaster started to unfold in a meeting of our World Coordination Team in Madrid on the 11th of March.”

“It has been incredible to research into the area of nuclear energy and see how much of a scandal there is behind the façade painted by the Nuclear Industry.”

“We found out that in 1959, the WHO signed an agreement with the IAEA with the intent that no report would be issued by the WHO about the effects of radiation on human health without the IAEA agreeing to it first. This is like the Tobacco Industry being in charge of all the reports about the effects of smoking on human health!”

“Somehow, whereas the rest of academia puts the death toll from Chernobyl anywhere from tens of thousands to a million people, official UN reports but the death toll at 47 plus a few thousand cases of thyroid cancer which the USSR government could have prevented with iodine tablets. We have seen that official UN reports on the Chernobyl disaster have failed to take into account any of the hundreds of studies into the health effects of Chernobyl that were written in Russian, Belarusian and Ukrainian. I mean, let’s be clear, this is the UN with all the resources for translation at their disposal, discounting all papers not written in English! You couldn’t make it up!”

Comparisons with the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer can also be made. “The Chemical Industry fought tooth and nail against the signing of the Montreal Protocol, constantly casting doubts on the science being researched. Fortunately for the Ozone Layer, the Chemical Industry lost. The problem is that the Nuclear Industry is much stronger, and it is supported by the Military who need the reactors and the uranium enriching facilities to make weapons grade plutonium and uranium.”

In the published position statement, the economic fraud of nuclear energy is also pointed out. “The Nuclear Industry would have us believe that nuclear energy is cheap energy, whereas it clearly isn’t when all the costs are added in. Everything that goes into the industry; set up costs, uranium costs, water costs, security costs and decommissioning costs are all paid for by tax-payers and hidden away in different government departments and shrouded in secrecy. If all of this were added to the unit cost of electricity the nuclear industry just wouldn’t be able to make any money. Any business that can’t cover its costs closes – that’s the way market forces work. If it happened in any other industry the market forces would effectively close it down.”

The statement also goes on to debunk the second fraud of the nuclear industry when it insists that nuclear energy is clean. “Sure the power plants don’t generate carbon dioxide when they are operational, but that’s only one part of the cleanliness equation. You have to factor in all the components of energy production, and the mining industry is certainly not a carbon-free industry. Also, how can you just ignore the tons of nuclear waste that are generated in the process of making energy? And these companies can’t adequately dispose of their nuclear waste, and look at Fukushima. We are meant to believe that this is a clean industry? No, that message no longer works.”

One key point about the safety of nuclear energy comes down to how much exposure to radioactivity is acceptable. “The effects of radioactivity are cumulative and radioactive material is all around us in small quantities. It’s ‘background’ radiation and we all have it inside us. Even sleeping in bed next to your partner, you expose yourself to tiny quantities of radiation coming from them! The damage caused by radioactivity though is cumulative, and the more radioactive material we put into the environment, the more cumulative damage will happen. Now, this damage will manifest itself as cancer, but not only cancers. Studies have been done on those who cleaned up Chernobyl (over 800,000 people) and the mortality and illness rates are much greater than in other groups of people.”

“But since 1945, humans have been pumping radioactive material into the environment, first through nuclear weapons testing, and then through disasters such as Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and now Fukushima. We are literally playing a lottery with our health, and the health of all life on the planet. The lottery is actually in reverse; in a lottery millions of people buy a ticket and one or two win. In the nuclear lottery, there are 6 billion people playing and thousands will lose, and these people will be scattered all over the world (although mainly in the Northern Hemisphere). There is no way to link a cancer today in Germany with the Chernobyl disaster. All you can do is see a statistical rise over time. This also plays into the hands of the Nuclear Industry who maintain the need for 100% proof in order to make such a link and thus prove responsibility.”

“Of course, this is the same game the Tobacco Industry has played so successfully for decades in denying responsibility for cancers.”

All of this then has led World without Wars to come out against Nuclear Energy, but only the nuclear energy produced in today’s plants. “Science is on the search for a way to produce energy through nuclear fusion, as opposed to the fission processes used today. Fusion is why the Sun is hot. Whereas today’s nuclear energy is incompatible with the human need for health and security, we think science should continue investigating fusion to see if it can be effectively harnessed. Unfortunately though, until today, the only successful fusion reactions to produce more energy than needed to start the reaction have been those that take place in nuclear weapons, so clearly any development of fusion will have to be conscious of the need to avoid producing a ready means to produce bombs.”

Finally, World without Wars called for TEPCO executives and members of the Japanese Government to be charged with criminal negligence. “Whichever idiots thought it would be a good idea to build nuclear reactors on earthquake fault lines, without sufficient protection from tsunamis, really win the prize for criminal negligence. And the prize should be a nice long spell in prison.”
 

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