Nuclear Power – No Solution to Climate Change

Two-page summary: nuclear power is no solution to climate change (2023)

Oct. 2020 – Updated Friends of the Earth Australia statement: Nuclear Power – No Solution to Climate Change

PowerPoint: Nuclear Power & Climate Change (2023)

Climate Council (Australia), 2019, ‘Nuclear Power Stations are Not Appropriate for Australia – and Probably Never Will Be

Briefing paper on nuclear power’s economic crisis (July 2019)

Important paper by Assoc. Prof. Tilman Ruff for the the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons: ‘Nuclear Weapons and Our Climate‘, 2019

Video, transcript and slides of a June 2023 US Congressional Briefing “Can Nuclear Energy Help Meet US Climate Goals?” featuring Gregory Jaczko (former US NRC chair), and academics Mark Z. Jacobson and M.V. Ramana. Samuel Lawrence Foundation.

Giles Parkinson, RenewEconomy, 23 Oct 2019, ‘Why the nuclear lobby makes stuff up about the cost of wind and solar ‘

More information on nuclear/climate debates.

Get involved – Contact your local anti-nuclear group

Climate Council of Australia: nuclear power plants “are not appropriate for Australia – and probably never will be”

In January 2019, the Climate Council, comprising Australia’s leading climate scientists and other policy experts, issued a policy statement concluding that nuclear power plants “are not appropriate for Australia – and probably never will be”. The statement continued: “Nuclear power stations are highly controversial, can’t be built under existing law in any Australian state or territory, are a more expensive source of power than renewable energy, and present significant challenges in terms of the storage and transport of nuclear waste, and use of water”.

Many Australian civil society groups agree with the Climate Council. Proposals to introduce nuclear power to Australia are misguided. Rather than fuel carbon emissions and radioactive risk through domestic coal power plants and the export of coal and uranium, Australia should embrace the fastest growing global energy sector ‒ renewables ‒ and become a driver of clean energy thinking and technology. Renewable energy is affordable, low risk, clean, and popular. Nuclear is simply not. Our shared energy future is renewable, not radioactive.

Beyond Nuclear International information sheets:

  • #1: Why Nuclear Power Slows Action on Climate Change. An analysis by Amory B. Lovins. The first of our Talking Points series lays out the arguments related to carbon reductions, time and cost, which, taken together, make nuclear power the least helpful choice for climate change, and renewable energy, combined with energy efficiency, the best choice. You can download a PDF version here
  • #2: “Advanced” Isn’t Always Better. Why pursuing “advanced” reactors is too slow, too resource-intensive, too dangerous and won’t result in improvements over traditional light water reactors. An analysis by Edwin Lyman. The second in our Talking Points series debunks the many flawed arguments suggesting that “new” and “advanced” non-light-water-reactors are an improvement and needed to combat climate change. You can download a PDF version here
  • #3: Does nuclear power effectively reduce carbon emissions? An analysis by Benjamin K. Sovacool, Andy Stirling and colleagues. The third in our Talking Points series looks at how countries that choose nuclear power are less effective at reducing carbon emissions than those that choose renewables, and how the choice of nuclear power can cancel out renewables. You can download a PDF version
  • #4: Net zero without nuclear. It’s not only possible, but essential. An analysis by Jonathon Porritt. The fourth in our Talking Points series looks at how energy efficiency and renewables must be at the heart of a Net Zero goal. Nuclear has no role to play and clinging to inflexible baseload distribution systems, on which nuclear power relies, makes it harder to bring on renewables. You can download a PDF version
  • #5: Germany’s Energy Revolution is working. Germany, which is about to phase out its entire nuclear fleet, is often misrepresented in the media. Despite the many false claims, Germany’s carbon emissions did not increase as a result of the nuclear shutdown and the country is on track to meet its fossil fuel phaseout goals. Shutting down nuclear power in fact opened the way for the country’s renewable energy revolution. We set the record straight. You can download a PDF version here. Background sources here.
  • #6: Unfounded Promises. Small Modular Reactors solve none of the challenges of nuclear power and make climate change and proliferation worse. A tsunami of license applications for new small modular (mirage) reactors is about to be unleashed in the US. But none remotely pass the five fundamental tests of cost, time, safety, waste and proliferation challenges. SMRs cannot improve on the already flawed full-size reactors, will be more expensive, take too long, have serious safety flaws, constitute proliferation risks and will make even more radioactive waste with no permanent solution. You can download a PDF version here. Background sources here.