The nuclear catastrophe in Japan is sparking worldwide protests against nuclear power and a re-examination of the risks of a technology that officials have for decades told us is failsafe.
This morning, Germany and Switzerland announced an immediate freeze on nuclear power plant development and licensing extensions. The decision came after 50,000 protesters formed a 27-mile human chain stretching from Stuttgart to one of Germany’s aging nuclear power plants.
The United States is home to 104 nuclear reactors, 23 of which are of the same type that are on the verge of melting down in Japan. Two huge reactors (Diablo Canyon and San Onofre) in California sit atop major earthquake faults. Officials assure us that these reactors were built to withstand a major earthquake. That’s what Japanese officials said about Fukushima.
The bottom line is this: For fifty years, the nuclear industry has glossed over the inherent dangers of radioactive power generation and waste disposal. No matter how many catastrophes occur, they just keep reiterating their mantra. But saying it a thousand times doesn’t make it true.
The U.S. is on the verge of granting $36 billion in loan guarantees to the nuclear industry. Tell President Obama: Nuclear power is an unsafe and unnecessary source of electricity. Solar panels and windmills don’t melt down–never have, never will.