Sunday, November 15, 2009

caldicott comes clean

Today I was in Belgrave to listen to Dr Helen Caldicott talk about the dangers of nuclear energy. I helped to sponsor the event, Clean Energy, as a way to increase local knowledge about the nuclear industry. I have been concerned about the ongoing recent suggestions that nuclear power is a solution to climate change in Australia. After listening to Helen it was abundantly clear that nuclear is a very poor solution to climate change.

Clean Energy was a great opportunity for locals to learn about the dangers of uranium mining and the nuclear industry.

Helen talked about the dangers workers face working in Uranium mines and the long term effect it has on the human body. She talked about the cumulative effect radiation has on people and the fact the 40% of uranium supplied comes from Australia. She went on to talk about the accumulation of radiation in the food chain and that the nuclear industry is the most dangerous, carcinogenic industry in the world.

We learnt that there are 440 nuclear reactors throughout the world, 104 of them in the USA, they are all wearing out and are currently undergoing maintenance works to extend their life for another 20 years, but after that their future is unclear. 30% of the spent rods are removed every year and put in cooling ponds which are 2 to 30 times more radioactive than those rods in the nuclear reactor. Uranium becomes one billion times more radioactive when fissioned and a nuclear reactor contains as much radiation as one thousand Hiroshima sized bombs.

I had a great chat with Helen about People for a Nuclear Free Australia, an organisation she founded.

The use of nuclear waste for weapons and the ticking time bomb that is genetic disease are good reasons to find better solutions to power generation across the world.

Dr Caldicott commissioned a report “Carbon Free Nuclear Free”, which documents how the USA could achieve a fossil fuel and nuclear free country by 2050, you can find it at this link.

Helen is also founder of People for a Nuclear Free Australia, if you’d like to get informed about the issues join at I encourage you to learn more.

Nuclear is not a solution to a clean, sustainable future. It is fraught with risks and will not solve the climate crisis.

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