Monday, March 21, 2011

Nuclear Power - still no thanks!

As an old 80s leftist I still have in my loft somewhere the old "Nuclear Power? No Thanks!" Badge which I mistakenly put away after Chernobyl when I thought that no one would be daft enough to press ahead with such an obviously dangerous means of generating electricity.



25 years on, CND are organising a meeting in Parliament to make the case against new nuclear power stations (http://www.cnduk.org/index.php/201103141010/press-releases/nuclear-power/suspend-nuclear-new-build-calls-cnd.html).



Opponents of nuclear power shouldn't scaremonger - but then we don't need to. The nuclear industry has a very strong safety culture and, as a result, a good track record - however, as Fukushima shows, the actual and potential consequences of events which (whilst unlikely) can happen means that the risk is too great.



There is no safe level of exposure to radiation and low level exposure to large populations, whilst posing a small additional risk to each individual, can produce thousands of avoidable early deaths.



The nuclear industry arose from a programme to create weapons of mass destruction but is kept alive by powerful vested interests. Alternatives such as energy conservation don't create countervailing centres of power and wealth - and the influence of the nuclear lobby extends well into the trade union movement.



UNISON does have an anti-nuclear position (http://jonrogers1963.blogspot.com/2006/07/is-unison-anti-nuclear-union.html). The challenge facing those of us who would like to press this policy forward will now be to draft appropriate amendments to motions on the Preliminary Agenda for National Delegate Conference.





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