Why I am opposed to atomic energy (and fossil fuels as well)

Why using nuclear energy is exploitative.

The Asifoscope

(Inside of a liquitd waste tank at Hanford site, see http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hanford_site_tank_interior.jpg)

Many people think nuclear energy should be extended to replace power stations based on burning fossil fuels in order to reduce the release of greenhouse gasses.

Many others are opposed to nuclear energy because they fear the dangers of accidents like those of Chernobyl and Fukushima. These events have shown that the possibility of disastrous destruction of nuclear power stations resulting in large scale release of radioactivity is a very real danger.

I think nuclear power is not an option and we should stop using it. But my main reason for this is not the possibility that events like the ones in Fukushima and Chernobyl may happen again. My main reason to be opposed to nuclear energy is that I think it is a form of exploitation. Specifically, using nuclear power means exploiting future people. It is an…

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  1. […] Related article: https://embassyofthefuture.wordpress.com/2013/10/06/why-i-am-opposed-to-atomic-energy-and-fossil-fuel… […]

  2. Comment for clarification of risk:
    1) FUKUSHIMA: about 50 000 people died by the Tsunami in 2011. About the same number lost their homes and existence. < 20 people died by the released radioactivity (cleanup workers).
    2) CHERNOBYL: about 35 people (cleanup workers) died by acute radiation syndrome (less than the number of people who died recently by hot summer temperature and electric black-out in France or by cold winter temperatures and lack of heating in Poland). About 2400 children developed thyroid cancer as result of Chernobyl fallouit, but almost all were successfully treated and survived.
    3) Uranium available in almost unlimitted amounts on earth (even dissolved in sea-water).
    4) Have you considered nuclear fussion as an energy source ?

    1. My argument is not based on the risk of Chernobyl or Fukushima type accidents. The problem is that nuclear fission produces radioactive wastes some of which remain active for many thousands of years. So we are producing this stuff and leaving it to future generations, whithout asking them for their consent. Consider people in another country would use nuclear energy and then dump it in your country, without asking for your consent and without you getting any benefit or compensation. Would that be OK, even if they encase it in some safe way? This is how we are treating people of the future.
      If you have to groups involved in a transaction and one gets an advantage from it and the other only a disadvantage (in the form or a risk), and the disadvantaged group is not asked and can’t do anything against it, I consider that an act of exploitation and unethical to do.
      Fusion might be a different case, if it does not produce long lasting radioactive wastes and if it actually works (of which I am not yet convinced at the moment).

  3. Hello Embassador of the Future, My anger with a general ban of nuclear energy (and this is what many semi-professional opponents of atom-energy intent, i.e. ban of both fission and fusion) is that it is mainly based on stereotypes. There are for instance novel technologies that circumvent the production of long-lasting radioactive waste (for instance molten salt reactors https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molten_salt_reactor) and of course nuclear fission. But the hard-core no-nukes refuse any further progress in this regard.
    You raise the issue of an imballance between benefit and disadvantage in different parts of the society. But exactly this was minimal for nuclear energy. It was even so that the people who live close to reactor sites were more in ease with it, and the hard-core opponents of nuclear energy are urban people who never got close to a reactor. I think that the disballance between people who benefit and people who bear the disadvantage is nowhere as big as in the case of renewable energies. The urban greens want to have wind energy, but the people on the countryside, which shall live with the rotors and shall except the long-distance power lines crossing their land and gardens are maximal affected and reject this. Or take the case of bio-fuel. Those in the western urban population who ease their mind by puring bio-fuel in their tanks and consume “green electricity” from the power socket in their appartment are not those who have to live with rising food prices, massive destruction of land for corn/sugar-cane/palm-oil/soy production and deforestation. And this is not only a problem in the third-world, but also here in Europe. Deforestation in Eastern countries to produce energy wood for the West is equally uncontrolled as is the massive change of the ecosystems in Germany, only for the sake of producing more and more corn and Raps-seed oil to burn it for energy. And the political agenda supports all this, simply because nobody challenges the dogma that nuclear energy is bad. I think that for human health and the preservation of our ecosystems the blind acceptance of everything that is called “renewable” or “green” is much more damaging than nuclear technology has ever been (including the Tschernobyl and the Fukushima accidents).
    best greetings

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