Nuclear power will not save the climate, but nuclear weapons

Team DNTC, 30. Jun. 2019

Berlin, 28.05.2019 The International Energy Agency warns in a report published today that power generation by nuclear power plants worldwide could decline sharply, as ageing plants are beginning to close for reasons of age and safety. Without a change of policy, industrialized countries in Europe, the US, Canada and Japan would lose 25% of their nuclear energy capacity by 2025. The German IPPNW affiliate (International Physicians for the prevention of Nuclear War) criticizes the presented solution by extending the life cycle and subsidies of nuclear energy. IPPNW Germany instead calls for a global phase out of nuclear energy and an energy transition through a mix of energy saving, renewable energies and storage technologies.

The physicians' organization disagrees with the statement that nuclear power serves climate protection and is needed to avoid supply bottlenecks: The worldwide installed capacity of all renewable power plants is six times greater than the worldwide installed capacity of all nuclear power plants (2,351 GW vs. 398 GW). Since nuclear power plants cannot quickly shut down and restarted, they are unsuitable for short-term correction of possible supply bottlenecks. Energy experts recommend a combination of storage capacities and gas-fired power plants for this purpose. Experts from the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW) have shown that the Paris goals for climate protection can be achieved inexpensively without nuclear power. The devastating ecological and health effects of uranium mining, uranium processing and nuclear waste disposal must not be disregarded.

"Why do powerful international organizations like the IEA, the IAEA and EURATOM agitate so strongly for nuclear power as an alleged climate rescuer and likewise demand subsidies for the civil nuclear industry? The structural interdependencies between civil and military use of nuclear technology is the real background for their shared advocacy for nuclear power," Dr. Angelika Claußen, European Vice-President of IPPNW explains.

Leading industrialists and security leaders in the US now openly admit that "the entire US nuclear enterprise – weapons, naval propulsion, non-proliferation, enrichment, fuel services and negotiations with international partners – depends on a robust civilian nuclear industry.”

"Many people pushed the inextricable links between civilian and military nuclear technology," Dr. Alex Rosen, chairman of the German section of IPPNW. "Nuclear weapons are currently being modernized in all nuclear weapon countries. For their nuclear arsenals, the military needs adequately well-trained engineers and experts in safety, materials, and conceptual studies. The cost of education, research and development would blow up the military budget. State support for civil nuclear energy in countries such as the United Kingdom, Russia, the United States and France has the primary purpose of keeping the military nuclear industry alive. "

IEA Report

Contact: Angelika Wilmen, IPPNW, Tel. 030-69 80 74-15, german section of IPPNW Körtestr.10 10967 Berlin wilmen@ippnw.de