There was a time when the supporters and opponents of nuclear power were diametrically opposed. Today, in the post-cold war, global warming era, it’s not that clear anymore who is for and who is against nuclear power.
The International Energy Agency (IEA), in their report on a sustainable energy future published for the G8 summit in Gleneagles, sees energy savings as key, but postulates that we will need all available technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. That includes nuclear energy. A similar opinion can be heard from the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). In their report on energy and climate change, Pathways to 2050, they stress renewable energy, but include nuclear power in a sustainable energy mix.
Major environmental organisations like Greenpeace, the World Wildlife Fund, and Friends of the Earth, see safety, nuclear waste, and proliferation issues as unacceptable risks under any circumstances and advocate that we should stop nuclear power generation altogether. However, more and more influential individual environmentalists are striking a different note.
Patrick Moore (co-founder of Greenpeace), James Lovelock (British atmospheric scientist and father of the Gaia Theory), Greg Bourne (Chief of WWF Australia), and Bishop Hugh Montefiore (founder of Friends of the Earth), are all of the opinion that, whether we like it or not, nuclear power must be part of the energy mix if we are to successfully mitigate the global warming catastrophe.
And what about the opinion of the general public? The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) conducted a poll in various countries all over the world. The results show that 62% of the population support keeping current nuclear power plans online, but 59% oppose new plants.
A large diversity of opinion is found among various national governments on nuclear energy. Click here for a summary (diverted from the IAEA country profiles and their updated briefings).Log in to post comments