Nuclear Nigeria? End global uranium use; phase out nuclear power

WCRE Press Release, 14 December 2011

Great fanfare surrounded recent announcements regarding the purported adoption of nuclear power by South Africa and Nigeria. This fallacious path is hailed by some misguided leaders as the 'right to nuclear power' by the poor - perpetuating the 60-year old fantasy that splitting the atom is key to unlocking development.

The WCRE calls on governments and people to awaken from the nuclear dream of the 1950s: it has turned into a nightmare. The financial, social and environmental implications of nuclear power are not only mismatched with Africa's empowering energy needs - as they are dangerous, costly and locally impoverishing to us all. In fact, despite the much vaunted 'renaissance', nuclear power is on its way out. With the exception of a few pockets of obstinate persistence, new projects have ground to a halt, and the nuclear power lobby is trading on pure marketing and the local interests of mining owners, operators and dealers, spanning the globe from Australia to Zambia.

The threat of weapons proliferation is only a breath away, as sub continental trade agreements demonstrate. And for those who seek proof: the unending suffering of post-Fukushima Japan is living proof that rushing into the prestige projects of the past is carried out on the backs of millions of potential victims. Hollow and unfulfilled 'development' promises are being pushed on the developing world while the most advanced industrialized countries – among them Switzerland, Italy or Germany - have decided to stay away from, disavow or dismantle nuclear reactor fleets. Even in nuclear-rich France practical steps are now being initiated to recover from this error of the past: beginning to abandon atomic infrastructures, and move to a locally based, global renewable energy infrastructure, serving regional autonomy, income and prosperity. For all.

Professor Peter Droege, General Chairman WCRE, President EUROSOLAR, and
Stanley Ijeoma, Member of the WCRE Committee of Chairpersons and WCRE Country Representative for Nigeria

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