This piece was published as a letter in the most recent copy of the Socialist (issue 495).
The Oxford Research Group has published a report into the potential uptake for civil nuclear power generation over the next 65 years. The nuclear power lobby claims that nuclear power can have a new 'golden era' of providing cheap, clean power. The report suggests that nuclear power expansion will make little impact on significantly reducing carbon emissions.
The report suggests that to make such an impact we would need to build 3,000 new reactors world-wide over the next sixty years, equivalent to one a week, whereas there are only 492 in operation today and many of these are nearing the end of their useful working lives.
Furthermore the creation of more nuclear plants will increase the possibility of them becoming a focus of terrorist attacks with the potential for mass destruction. It would also see expansion of nuclear energy into countries that do not already have such reactors.
Socialists are opposed to nuclear power, because there is no safe way of disposing of nuclear waste, which can stay reactive for hundreds of years and could do great damage to the environment. There should be greater research into providing clean renewable energy sources, planned to meet people's needs.
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