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18 Feb 2010


Climate & Environment
Sustainable Dev.

The Co-Spokespersons of the European Green Party, Monica Frassoni and Philippe Lamberts, condemned in the strongest possible terms the decision announced today by US President Barack Obama to fund the building of two nuclear reactors by disguising tax payers’ money subsidies as loan guarantees for new plants.

“Today’s announcement , along with the recent announcement of loan guarantees for nuclear power of up to 54.5 billion US Dollars, is based on the fallacy that the new generation of nuclear power plants are “clean and safe” whereas the reality is that they continue to be extremely dirty and dangerous. There are several reasons why nuclear is not an option. Safety and security concerns are still paramount but the nuclear lobby also tries to cover up the real costs of nuclear power, including the problems of waste treatment  and the fact that the technology to deal with such waste safely and effectively does not exist. It is also a fact that the supply of fuel needed for nuclear power is no more infinite than oil.”

“It is simply unacceptable for taxpayers’ money to be diverted from projects that really deliver CO2 reductions quickly and sustainably, ie, renewables, to nuclear which is neither sustainable, efficient nor safe. It is clear that Obama is trying to buy the support of Republicans for his plans to place a cap on carbon emissions and invest more in renewables by giving in to their demands for irresponsible and unsustainable investment in the nuclear, coal and gas industries. But Obama's admission that the US administration has to offer such huge financial guarantees to get the nuclear industry moving is also further evidence that nuclear power is bad economics; and that the government of the UK and Italy are lying to the public when they say that the plan to build new reactors will not cost anything to the tax payers. There can be no new nuclear plant without massive public subsidies. There is also a blatant contradiction between Obama calling, in noble sounding rhetoric, for a world free of nuclear weapons while supporting the so-called “nuclear renaissance” which actually increases the likelihood of nuclear proliferation. We call on the Greens and the environmental movements in the US and worldwide to launch a new global campaign in 2010 against the come-back of an old and dangerous technology and to vigorously resist the lie that nuclear will combat climate change.”

Graham Burgess

Media and Communications Officer

European Green Party

Office no: +32 (0)2 626 0724

Mobile no: +32 (0)477 902 023


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