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Experts Say Nuclear Energy as Climate Solution Is Total ‘Fiction’

anti-nuclear campaigner in France

A protestor gestures during an anti-nuclear demonstration on October 1, 2016 in Siouville-Hague, northwestern France. (Photo: Charly Triballeau/AFP via Getty Images)

Experts Say Nuclear Energy as Climate Solution Is Total ‘Fiction’

“The reality is nuclear is neither clean, safe, or smart; but a very complex technology with the potential to cause significant harm.”

As global scientists continue to warn of the urgent need to keep fossil fuels in the ground, a quartet of European and U.S. experts on Tuesday made a comprehensive case for why nuclear power should be not be considered a solution to the climate crisis.

“The central message, repeated again and again, that a new generation of nuclear will be clean, safe, smart and cheap, is fiction.”

While the experts recognize in their joint statement that “the climate is running hot,” they push back forcefully against those who argue nuclear could be a “partial response to the threat of global heating.”

With four signatories—Paul Dorfman, former secretary of the U.K. government’s Committee Examining Radiation Risks of Internal Emitters; Greg Jaczko, former chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission; Bernard Laponche, former director general of France’s energy management agency; and Wolfgang Renneberg, former head of the reactor safety, radiation protection, and nuclear waste at Germany’s environmental ministry—the statement comes as a direct challenge to a nuclear industry trying to bill itself as a reliable part of the world’s transition to a more sustainable energy system.

“As key experts who have worked on the frontline of the nuclear issue,” their statement explains, “we consider it our collective responsibility to comment on the main issue: Whether nuclear could play a significant role as a strategy against climate change.”

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