According to Australian-born physician and antinuclear activist Helen Caldicott, the nuclear industry is waging a misleading propaganda campaign to portray nuclear power as a panacea for environmental and energy crises. In the following viewpoint, Caldicott contends that nuclear energy is actually not emission-free, not safe, and not fossil-fuel-free. She also maintains that nuclear power plants are vulnerable to terrorist attack, with potentially catastrophic consequences over and above the risks of radioactive waste. Helen Caldicott is founder and president of the Nuclear Policy Research Institute, which opposes the use of nuclear energy and cofounder of Physicians for Social Responsibility.
There is a huge propaganda push by the nuclear industry to justify nuclear power as a panacea for the reduction of global-warming gases....
But I would suggest that all the relevant facts be taught to students. Mandatory courses in medical schools should embrace the short- and long-term biological, genetic and medical dangers associated with the nuclear fuel cycle. Business students should examine the true costs associated with the production of nuclear power. Engineering students should become familiar with the profound problems associated with the storage of long-lived radioactive waste, the human fallibilities that have created the most serious nuclear accidents in history and the ongoing history of near-misses and near-meltdowns in the industry.
Nuclear Reactors Are Not Practical
At present there are 442 nuclear reactors in operation around the world. If, as the nuclear industry suggests, nuclear power were to replace fossil fuels on a large scale, it would be necessary to build 2,000 large, 1,000-megawatt reactors. Considering that no new nuclear plant has been ordered in the US since 1978, this proposal is less than practical. Furthermore, even if we decided today to replace all fossil-fuel-generated electricity with... [continues]
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