Nuclear Power Plant Short Essay About Friendship

The Rampal power station (Bengali: রামপাল বিদ্যুৎ কেন্দ্র) is a proposed 1320 megawatt coal-firedpower station at Rampal Upazila of Bagerhat District in Khulna, Bangladesh.[1] It is a joint partnership between India's state owned National Thermal Power Corporation and Bangladesh Power Development Board. The joint venture company is known as Bangladesh India Friendship Power Company (BIFPC).[2] The proposed project, on an area of over 1834 acres of land, is situated 14 kilometres north of the world's largest mangrove forestSundarbans which is a UNESCO world heritage site. It will be the country's largest power plant.[3]

Agreements[edit]

In August 2010, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) and India's state-owned National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) where they designated to implement the project by 2016.[4] On 29 January 2012, the Bangladesh Power Development Board signed an agreement with NTPC to build the plant.[5] The joint venture company is known as Bangladesh India Friendship Power Company (BIFPC).[6] The BPDB and the NTPC agreed to implement the project on a 50:50 equity basis. The NTPC will set up and operate the plant.[7] Bangladesh and India will equally share up to 30 per cent of the capital of this project as equity. The remainder of the capital, which might be equivalent to USD 1.5 billion, will be taken as bank loans with help from the NTPC. According to the sources in the Bangladesh Power Division, the joint venture company will enjoy a 15-year tax holiday.[8]

Environmental issues[edit]

This project violates the environmental impact assessment guidelines for coal-based thermal power plants.[2] A 2016 Unesco report called the Environmental Impact Assessment questionable, and called for shelving the project.[9].

On 1 August 2013, Department of Environment (DoE) of Bangladesh approved construction, but then changed its stance and set 50 preconditions for the project.[10] But the location of the plant, 14 kilometres from the Sundarbans, violates one of the basic preconditions which says such projects must be outside a 25-kilometer radius from the outer periphery of an ecologically sensitive area.[2]

Environmental activists contend that the proposed location of the Rampal Station would violate provisions of the Ramsar Convention. The Ramsar Convention, to which Bangladesh is a signatory, is an international environmental treaty for the conservation of wetlands. The Sundarbans are on Ramsar's list of wetlands of international importance.[11][12]

The plant will need to import 4.72 million tons of coal per year. This massive freight will need about 59 ships each having 80,000-ton capacity that would be taken to the port on the bank of the Poshur river. The 40 kilometres from the port to the plant cuts through the Sundarbans and it includes the river flow path. Environmentalists say these coal-carrying vehicles are not often covered as they scatter large amounts of fly ash, coal dust and sulphur, and other toxic chemicals are released throughout the life of the project. Carrying large amount of coal through the shallow rivers also pose a threat as five vessels with load of coal, oil and potash sank in the nearby rivers from the time period of December 2014 to January 2017.[13]

The plant would draw 219,600 cubic metres of water every day[14] from the Poshur river, and discharge treated waste water back into that river causing pollutants to be introduced into the water supply to the detriment of the mangroves, the marine animals living there and nearby population.[15]

The predictions made by environment and ecology experts are that the plant will release toxic gases such as carbon monoxide, oxides of nitrogen and sulphur dioxide, thereby putting the surrounding areas and, most importantly, Sundarban at grave risk.[16]

According to a report published in New Age, in past few years the Indian central and state authorities which deal with environmental concerns in India denied the proposal of NTPC to set up a similar coal-fired thermal power plant at Gajmara in Gadarwara of Madhya Pradesh over a number of points. NTPC failed to get approval of the Indian Central Green Panel (Green Tribunal) in 2010 for the construction of that coal-fired thermal power plant because a vast portion of double-crop agricultural land reportedly comprised the site, a similar situation to Rampal.[16]

Government position[edit]

The government of Bangladesh rejects the allegations that the coal-based power plant would adversely affect the world's largest mangrove forest.[17]Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury, energy adviser of the Bangladeshi prime minister, said that the controversy over the power plant and its impact on the Sundarbans was "not based on facts." She also said that the plant will not negatively affect the mangrove forest because the emission of green house gas will be kept at the minimum level.

The government also claimed of importing high quality coal, build a 275-meter high chimney, employing state-of-the art technology and other steps to keep its impact on the Sundarbans at a negligible level.[18]

Opposition[edit]

On 1 March 2011, a bench of Bangladesh High Court asked the government "why the construction of the plant should not be declared illegal".[19] Environmental experts have expressed concerns that the proposed plant at Rampal in Bagerhat might destroy the world's largest mangrove forest Sundarbans, a UNESCO world heritage site. Faridul Islam, chief coordinator of Save the Sundarbans, pointed out that the selected location of the project was only nine kilometres from Sundarban. About 2.5 million people depend on the Sundarban region, such as wood-cutters, fishermen, and honey hunters.

The National Committee on Protection of Oil, Gas, Mineral Resources, and Power-Port, environmentalist groups, bodies of the left-leaning parties and general people of Bangladesh vowed to resist the planned inauguration of the Rampal Power Plant scheduled on 22 October 2013.[17] On 24 September 2013 thousands of people in Bangladesh began a rally for 5 days and 400 kilometres to oppose the power plant. Their march began in the capital city of Dhaka but slowly went to the world's largest mangrove forest,"Sundarban".[2] As of 30 June 2016, with construction yet to begin, UNESCO had scheduled a meeting for 11 July to decide whether to declare the Sundarbans a "World Heritage Site in Danger," its strongest possible signal to the two governments and to international lenders that the plant should not be built.[20]

In India too there has been some fragmented opposition of the power plant. In his interview with Siddharth Sivakumar of the Indian cultural website Tinpahar, Shayan Chowdhury Arnob said on this issue, "The Rampal Power Plant might become the biggest Power Plant, but it would cost the world its largest mangrove forest, the Sundarbans. Sundarbans has its life in numerous intertwined organic chains. When a chain is broken everything would fall apart, one after the other. Money has nothing to do with development or happiness; it's about our attitude to life."[21] In a press conference in New Delhi, India, social and civil society activists from Narmada Bachao Andolan's National Alliance of People's Movements wrote an "open letter" to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 18 October 2016, appealing to him to withdraw support for the plant saying that it might cause irreparable damage to the Sundarbans in Bangladesh.[22]

On 18 January 2017 in the 47th annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos of Switzerland, former Vice-President of the United States, Al Gore has urged Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina to stop building the coal powered plant close to the largest mangrove forest, Sundarbans.[23]

At least 10 activists from various organisations have been admitted to Dhaka Medical College and Hospital, when police used tear gas and rubber bullets to break up the Anti-Rampal protests in the Dhaka University area on 26 January 2017.[24]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

  1. ^"Indo-Bangla joint company for power import". The Independent. Dhaka. 8 March 2011. Archived from the original on 10 March 2011. 
  2. ^ abcdKumar, Chaitanya (24 September 2013). "Bangladesh Power Plant Struggle Calls for International Solidarity". The Huffington Post. 
  3. ^Rahman, Khalilur (24 February 2013). "Demand for Rampal power plant relocation". Financial Express. Dhaka. Archived from the original on 25 February 2013. 
  4. ^Ahsan, Manjurul (14 May 2011). "Experts denounce Bagerhat coal-fired power plant plan". New Age. Dhaka. Archived from the original on 2 February 2012. 
  5. ^"Final report on environmental impact assessment of 2x (500–660) MW coal based thermal power plant to be constructed at the location of Khulna – India Environment Portal – News, reports, documents, blogs, data, analysis on environment & development – India, South Asia". indiaenvironmentportal.org.in. 
  6. ^Ritu, Moshahida Sultana (11 June 2013). "Who gains, who loses?". The Daily Star. 
  7. ^"Coal-fired energy BD signs power plant deal with Delhi". pakobserver.net. 
  8. ^"Power Division seeks $302m for Rampal plant". The Independent. Dhaka. 8 August 2013. Archived from the original on 2 October 2013. 
  9. ^Iftekhar Mahmud (24 September 2016), "Unesco calls for shelving Rampal project", Prothom Alo, retrieved 13 October 2016 
  10. ^"DoE changes stance on Rampal power plant". The Financial Express. 7 September 2013. 
  11. ^"The Roar of Disapproval". Dhaka Courier. 29 September 2013. Retrieved 29 November 2015 – via HighBeam Research. (Subscription required (help)). 
  12. ^Anisul Islam Noor (27 October 2015). "Rampal plant won't hamper environ". The New Nation. Retrieved 29 November 2015. 
  13. ^"Another Coal Barge Sinks in the Sundarbans World Heritage Site". EcoWatch. Waterkeeper Alliance. 17 January 2017. Retrieved 28 January 2017. 
  14. ^Hance, Jeremy (2 March 2016). "Thousands to march against coal plant threat to Bangladesh's Sundarbans forest". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 27 January 2017. 
  15. ^"A new power plant could devastate the world's largest mangrove forest". Washington Post. Retrieved 27 January 2017. 
  16. ^ ab"More reasons to stop Rampal power plant". New Age (Editorial). Dhaka. 26 May 2013. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. 
  17. ^ abHabib, Haroon (27 September 2013). "Bangladesh begins import of power from India". The Hindu. 
  18. ^"Govt to lay foundation stone Oct 22". The Daily Star. 26 September 2013. 
  19. ^"No coal-run power plant in Bagerhat: BNP". bdnews24.com. 18 June 2011. Archived from the original on 30 October 2012. 
  20. ^"US Exim bank urged to refrain from financing". The Daily Star. 29 June 2016. 
  21. ^"Siddharth Sivakumar in conversation with Arnob". Tinpahar. 
  22. ^"Rampal Power Plant: Protest in India too". The Daily Star. 19 October 2016. Retrieved 27 January 2017. 
  23. ^"Stop building Rampal Power Plant so close to Sundarban: Al Gore to Sheikh Hasina | Foreign Relations | ABnews24". abnews24.com/english. Retrieved 28 January 2017. 
  24. ^"Anti-Rampal activists announce plans for more protests". bdnews24.com. Retrieved 27 January 2017. 

The anti-nuclear movement is a social movement that opposes various nuclear technologies. Some direct action groups, environmental movements, and professional organisations have identified themselves with the movement at the local, national, or international level.[2][3] Major anti-nuclear groups include Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, and the Nuclear Information and Resource Service. The initial objective of the movement was nuclear disarmament, though since the late 1960s opposition has included the use of nuclear power. Many anti-nuclear groups oppose both nuclear power and nuclear weapons. The formation of green parties in the 1970s and 1980s was often a direct result of anti-nuclear politics.[4]

Scientists and diplomats have debated nuclear weapons policy since before the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.[5] The public became concerned about nuclear weapons testing from about 1954, following extensive nuclear testing in the Pacific. In 1963, many countries ratified the Partial Test Ban Treaty which prohibited atmospheric nuclear testing.[6]

Some local opposition to nuclear power emerged in the early 1960s,[7] and in the late 1960s some members of the scientific community began to express their concerns.[8] In the early 1970s, there were large protests about a proposed nuclear power plant in Wyhl, West Germany. The project was cancelled in 1975 and anti-nuclear success at Wyhl inspired opposition to nuclear power in other parts of Europe and North America.[9][10] Nuclear power became an issue of major public protest in the 1970s[11] and while opposition to nuclear power continues, increasing public support for nuclear power has re-emerged over the last decade in light of growing awareness of global warming and renewed interest in all types of clean energy (see the Pro-nuclear movement).

A protest against nuclear power occurred in July 1977 in Bilbao, Spain, with up to 200,000 people in attendance. Following the Three Mile Island accident in 1979, an anti-nuclear protest was held in New York City, involving 200,000 people. In 1981, Germany's largest anti-nuclear power demonstration took place to protest against the Brokdorf Nuclear Power Plant west of Hamburg; some 100,000 people came face to face with 10,000 police officers. The largest protest was held on June 12, 1982, when one million people demonstrated in New York City against nuclear weapons. A 1983 nuclear weapons protest in West Berlin had about 600,000 participants. In May 1986, following the Chernobyl disaster, an estimated 150,000 to 200,000 people marched in Rome to protest against the Italian nuclear program. In the US, public opposition preceded the shutdown of the Shoreham, Yankee Rowe, Millstone 1, Rancho Seco, Maine Yankee, and many other nuclear power plants.

For many years after the 1986 Chernobyl disaster nuclear power was off the policy agenda in most countries, and the anti-nuclear power movement seemed to have won its case. Some anti-nuclear groups disbanded. In the 2000s (decade), however, following public relations activities by the nuclear industry,[12][13][14][15][16]advances in nuclear reactor designs, and concerns about climate change, nuclear power issues came back into energy policy discussions in some countries. The 2011 Japanese nuclear accidents subsequently undermined the nuclear power industry's proposed renaissance and revived nuclear opposition worldwide, putting governments on the defensive.[17] As of 2016, countries such as Australia, Austria, Denmark, Greece, Malaysia, New Zealand, and Norway have no nuclear power stations and remain opposed to nuclear power.[18][19]Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland are phasing-out nuclear power.[19][20][21][22] Globally, more nuclear power reactors have closed than opened in recent years.[21]

History and issues[edit]

Roots of the movement[edit]

Main article: History of the anti-nuclear movement

The application of nuclear technology, as a source of energy and as an instrument of war, has been controversial.[23][24][25][26][27][28] These issues are discussed in nuclear weapons debate, nuclear power debate, and uranium mining debate.

Scientists and diplomats have debated nuclear weapons policy since before the Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.[5] The public became concerned about nuclear weapons testing from about 1954, following extensive nuclear testing in the Pacific. In 1961, at the height of the Cold War, about 50,000 women brought together by Women Strike for Peace marched in 60 cities in the United States to demonstrate against nuclear weapons.[29][30] In 1963, many countries ratified the Partial Test Ban Treaty which prohibited atmospheric nuclear testing.[6]

Some local opposition to nuclear power emerged in the early 1960s,[7] and in the late 1960s some members of the scientific community began to express their concerns.[8] In the early 1970s, there were large protests about a proposed nuclear power plant in Wyhl, Germany. The project was cancelled in 1975 and anti-nuclear success at Wyhl inspired opposition to nuclear power in other parts of Europe and North America.[9][10] Nuclear power became an issue of major public protest in the 1970s.[11]

Anti-nuclear perspectives[edit]

See also: Lists of nuclear disasters and radioactive incidents

Concerns about nuclear weapons[edit]

See also: Nuclear ethics and Uranium mining § Environment

From an anti-nuclear point of view, there is a threat to modern civilization from global nuclear war by accidental or deliberate nuclear strike.[32] Some climate scientists estimate that a war between two countries that resulted in 100 Hiroshima-size atomic explosions would cause significant loss of life, in the tens of millions from climatic effects alone and disabled future generation . Soot thrown up into the atmosphere could blanket the earth, causing food chain disruption in what is termed a nuclear winter.[33][34]

Many anti-nuclear weapons groups cite the 1996 Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice, Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons, in which it found that 'the threat or use of nuclear weapons would generally be contrary to the rules of international law applicable in armed conflict'.[35]

Ridding the world of nuclear weapons has been a cause for pacifists for decades. But more recently mainstream politicians and retired military leaders have advocated nuclear disarmament. In January 2007 an article in the Wall Street Journal, authored by Henry Kissinger, Bill Perry, George Shultz and Sam Nunn.[36] These men were veterans of the cold-war who believed in using nuclear weapons for deterrence. But they now reversed their previous position and asserted that instead of making the world safer, nuclear weapons had become a source of extreme concern.[37]

During the era of nuclear weapons testing many local communities were affected, and some are still affected by uranium mining, and radioactive waste disposal.[32]

Concerns about nuclear power[edit]

See also: Lists of nuclear disasters and radioactive incidents and Nuclear safety and security

There are large variations in peoples’ understanding of the issues surrounding nuclear power, including the technology itself, its deployment, climate change, and energy security. There is a wide spectrum of views and concerns over nuclear power[40] and it remains a controversial area of public policy.[41]

Many studies have shown that the public "perceives nuclear power as a very risky technology" and, around the world, nuclear energy has declined in popularity since the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster.[42][43][44] Anti-nuclear critics see nuclear power as a dangerous, expensive way to boil water to generate electricity.[45] Opponents of nuclear power have raised a number of related concerns:[46]

Of these concerns, nuclear accidents and disposal of long-lived radioactive waste have probably had the greatest public impact worldwide.[46] Anti-nuclear campaigners point to the 2011 Fukushima nuclear emergency as proof that nuclear power can never be 100% safe.[47]

In his book Global Fission: The Battle Over Nuclear Power, Jim Falk explores connections between technological concerns and political concerns. Falk suggests that concerns of citizen groups or individuals who oppose nuclear power have often focused initially on the "range of physical hazards which accompany the technology" and leads to a "concern over the political relations of the nuclear industry" A more neutral observer might observe that this is nothing more than a conspiracy theory. Baruch Fischhoff, a social science professor said that many people really do not trust the nuclear industry.[48]Wade Allison, a physics professor actually says "radiation is safe & all nations should embrace nuclear technology"[49]

M.V. Ramana says that "distrust of the social institutions that manage nuclear energy is widespread", and a 2001 survey by the European Commission found that "only 10.1 percent of Europeans trusted the nuclear industry". This public distrust is periodically reinforced by nuclear safety violations, or through ineffectiveness or corruption of the nuclear regulatory authorities. Once lost, says Ramana, trust is extremely difficult to regain.[50]

Faced with public antipathy, the nuclear industry has "tried a variety of strategies to persuade the public to accept nuclear power", including the publication of numerous "fact sheets" that discuss issues of public concern. M.V. Ramana says that none of these strategies have been very successful.[51] Nuclear proponents have tried to regain public support by offering newer, safer, reactor designs. These designs include those that incorporate passive safety and Small Modular Reactors. While these reactor designs "are intended to inspire trust, they may have an unintended effect: creating distrust of older reactors that lack the touted safety features".[52]

Since 2000 the nuclear industry has undertaken an international media and lobbying campaign to promote nuclear power as a solution to the greenhouse effect and climate change.[53] Nuclear power, the industry says, emits no or negligible amounts of carbon dioxide. Anti-nuclear groups respond by saying that only reactor operation is free of carbon dioxide emissions. All other stages of the nuclear fuel chain – mining, milling, transport, fuel fabrication, enrichment, reactor construction, decommissioning and waste management – use fossil fuels and hence emit carbon dioxide.[53][54][55]

In 2011, a French court fined Électricité de France (EDF) €1.5m and jailed two senior employees for spying on Greenpeace, including hacking into Greenpeace's computer systems. Greenpeace was awarded €500,000 in damages.[56][57]

There is a wide range of published energy-related studies which conclude that energy efficiency programs and renewable power technologies are a better energy option than nuclear power plants. This diverse range of studies come from many different sources, across the political spectrum, and from various academic disciplines, which suggests that there is a consensus among many independent, non-partisan energy experts that nuclear power plants are a poor way to produce electrical power.[58]

Other technologies[edit]

The international nuclear fusion project International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) is constructing the world's largest and most advanced experimental tokamaknuclear fusion reactor in the south of France. A collaboration between the European Union (EU), India, Japan, China, Russia, South Korea and the United States, the project aims to make a transition from experimental studies of plasma physics to electricity-producing fusion power plants. In 2005, Greenpeace International issued a press statement criticizing government funding of the ITER, believing the money should have been diverted to renewable energy sources and claiming that fusion energy would result in nuclear waste and nuclear weapons proliferation issues.[59] A French association including about 700 anti-nuclear groups, Sortir du nucléaire (Get Out of Nuclear Energy), claimed that ITER was a hazard because scientists did not yet know how to manipulate the high-energy deuterium and tritium hydrogen isotopes used in the fusion process.[60] According to most anti-nuclear groups, nuclear fusion power “remains a distant dream”.[61] The World Nuclear Association have said that fusion "presents so far insurmountable scientific and engineering challenges".[62] Construction of the ITER facility began in 2007, but the project has run into many delays and budget overruns. Several milestones of the project has already been finished, but the finishing date for First Plasma has been discussed and postponed many times with various conclusions. In late 2016, the ITER council agreed on an updated project schedule, with a planned First Plasma opening by 2025, nine years after the originally anticipated opening. [63][64]

Some anti-nuclear groups advocate reduced reliance on reactor-produced medical radioisotopes, through the use of alternative radioisotope production and alternative clinical technologies.[65]Cyclotrons are being increasingly used to produce medical radioisotopes to the point where nuclear reactors are no longer needed to make the most common medical isotopes.[66]

Nuclear-free alternatives[edit]

See also: 100% renewable energy, Soft energy path, Renewable energy commercialisation, Non-nuclear future, and Clean Tech Nation

Anti-nuclear groups say that reliance on nuclear energy can be reduced by adopting energy conservation and energy efficiency measures. Energy efficiency can reduce energy consumption while providing the same level of energy "services".[68] Renewable energy flows involve natural phenomena such as sunlight, wind, tides, plant growth, and geothermal heat, as the International Energy Agency explains:[69]

Renewable energy is derived from natural processes that are replenished constantly. In its various forms, it derives directly from the sun, or from heat generated deep within the earth. Included in the definition is electricity and heat generated from solar, wind, ocean, hydropower, biomass, geothermal resources, and biofuels and hydrogen derived from renewable resources.

Anti-nuclear groups also favour the use of renewable energy, such as hydro, wind power, solar power, geothermal energy and biofuel.[70] According to the International Energy Agency renewable energy technologies are essential contributors to the energy supply portfolio, as they contribute to world energy security and provide opportunities for mitigating greenhouse gases.[71] Fossil fuels are being replaced by clean, climate-stabilizing, non-depletable sources of energy. According to Lester R. Brown:

...the transition from coal, oil, and gas to wind, solar, and geothermal energy is well under way. In the old economy, energy was produced by burning something — oil, coal, or natural gas — leading to the carbon emissions that have come to define our economy. The new energy economy harnesses the energy in wind, the energy coming from the sun, and heat from within the earth itself.[72]

In 2014 global wind power capacity expanded 16% to 369,553 MW.[73] Yearly wind energy production is also growing rapidly and has reached around 4% of worldwide electricity usage,[74] 11.4% in the EU,[75] and it is widely used in Asia, and the United States. In 2014, worldwide installed photovoltaics capacity increased to 177 gigawatts (GW), sufficient to supply 1 percent of global electricity demands.[76]Solar thermal energy stations operate in the USA and Spain, and as of 2016, the largest of these is the 392 MW Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System in California.[77][78] The world's largest geothermal power installation is The Geysers in California, with a rated capacity of 750 MW. Brazil has one of the largest renewable energy programs in the world, involving production of ethanol fuel from sugar cane, and ethanol now provides 18% of the country's automotive fuel. Ethanol fuel is also widely available in the USA.

Greenpeace advocates a reduction of fossil fuels by 50% by 2050 as well as phasing out nuclear power, contending that innovative technologies can increase energy efficiency, and suggests that by 2050 most electricity will come from renewable sources.[70] The International Energy Agency estimates that nearly 50% of global electricity supplies will need to come from renewable energy sources in order to halve carbon dioxide emissions by 2050 and minimise climate change impacts.[79]

Mark Z. Jacobson, a Stanford professor, says producing all new energy with wind power, solar power, and hydropower by 2030 is feasible and existing energy supply arrangements could be replaced by 2050. Barriers to implementing the renewable energy plan are seen to be "primarily social and political, not technological or economic". Jacobson says that energy costs with a wind, solar, water system should be similar to today's energy costs.[80] Many has since referred to Jacobson's work to justify advocating for all 100% renewables, however, in February, 2017, a group of twenty-one scientists published a critique of Jacobson's work and found that his analysis involves "errors, inappropriate methods and implausible assumptions" and failed to provide "credible evidence for rejecting the conclusions of previous analyses that point to the benefits of considering a broad portfolio of energy system options."[81]

Anti-nuclear organizations[edit]

See also: List of anti-nuclear groups, List of anti-nuclear power groups, and List of anti-nuclear groups in the United States

The anti-nuclear movement is a social movement which operates at the local, national, and international level. Various types of groups have identified themselves with the movement:[3]

Anti-nuclear groups have undertaken public protests and acts of civil disobedience which have included occupations of nuclear plant sites. Other salient strategies have included lobbying, petitioning government authorities, influencing public policy through referendum campaigns and involvement in elections. Anti-nuclear groups have also tried to influence policy implementation through litigation and by participating in licensing proceedings.[82]

Anti-nuclear power organisations have emerged in every country that has had a nuclear power programme. Protest movements against nuclear power first emerged in the USA, at the local level, and spread quickly to Europe and the rest of the world. National nuclear campaigns emerged in the late 1970s. Fuelled by the Three Mile Island accident and the Chernobyl disaster, the anti-nuclear power movement mobilised political and economic forces which for some years "made nuclear energy untenable in many countries".[83] In the 1970s and 1980s, the formation of green parties was often a direct result of anti-nuclear politics (e.g., in Germany and Sweden).[4]

Some of these anti-nuclear power organisations are reported to have developed considerable expertise on nuclear power and energy issues.[84] In 1992, the chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said that "his agency had been pushed in the right direction on safety issues because of the pleas and protests of nuclear watchdog groups".[85]

International organizations[edit]

  • European Nuclear Disarmament, which held annual conventions in the 1980s involving thousands of anti-nuclear weapons activists mostly from Western Europe but also from Eastern Europe, the United States, and Australia.[86]
  • Friends of the Earth International, a network of environmental organizations in 77 countries.[87] Since 2014, however, FOE (UK) has softened its stance; the fierce opposition against nuclear reactors has shifted into a more pragmatic opposition, which still opposes the construction of new nuclear (fission) reactors, but doesn't campaign against closing down the existing ones any more.[88]
  • Global Zero, an international non-partisan group of 300 world leaders dedicated to achieving the elimination of nuclear weapons.[89]
  • Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism, an international partnership of 83 nations.
  • Greenpeace International, a non-governmentalenvironmental organization[90] with offices in over 41 countries and headquarters in Amsterdam, Netherlands.[91]
  • International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons
  • International Network of Engineers and Scientists for Global Responsibility
  • International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, which had affiliates in 41 nations in 1985, representing 135,000 physicians;[86] IPPNW was awarded the UNESCOPeace Education Prize in 1984 and the Nobel Peace Prize in 1985.[92]
  • Nuclear Information and Resource Service
  • OPANAL
  • Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament, a global network of over 700 parliamentarians from more than 75 countries working to prevent nuclear proliferation.[93]
  • Pax Christi International, a Catholic group which took a "sharply anti-nuclear stand".[86]
  • Ploughshares Fund
  • Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs
  • Socialist International, the world body of social democratic parties.[94]
  • Sōka Gakkai, a peace-orientated Buddhist organisation, which held anti-nuclear exhibitions in Japanese cities during the late 1970s, and gathered 10 million signatures on petitions calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons.[94][95]
  • United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs
  • World Disarmament Campaign[94]
  • World Information Service on Energy, basedin Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • World Union for Protection of Life

Other groups[edit]

National and local anti-nuclear groups are listed at Anti-nuclear groups in the United States and List of anti-nuclear groups.

Symbols[edit]

  • Anti nuclear power movement's Smiling Sun logo "Nuclear Power? No Thanks"

  • Another high-profile anti-nuclear symbol, which is a variation on the international radiation symbol.

  • Anti-nuclear poster from the 1970s American movement.

  • Anti nuclear symbol A variation of a mushroom cloud and a no sign

Activities[edit]

Large protests[edit]

Main article: Anti-nuclear protests

In 1971, the town of Wyhl, in Germany, was a proposed site for a nuclear power station. In the years that followed, public opposition steadily mounted, and there were large protests. Television coverage of police dragging away farmers and their wives helped to turn nuclear power into a major issue. In 1975, an administrative court withdrew the construction licence for the plant.[9][10][97] The Wyhl experience encouraged the formation of citizen action groups near other planned nuclear sites.[9]

In 1972, the nuclear disarmament movement maintained a presence in the Pacific, largely in response to French nuclear testing there. New Zealand activists sailed boats into the test zone, interrupting the testing program.[98][99] In Australia, thousands of people joined protest marches in Adelaide, Melbourne, Brisbane, and Sydney. Scientists issued statements demanding an end to the nuclear tests. In Fiji, anti-nuclear activists formed an Against Testing on Mururoa organization.[99]

In the Basque Country (Spain and France), a strong anti-nuclear movement emerged in 1973, which ultimately led to the abandonment of most of the planned nuclear power projects.[100] On July 14, 1977, in Bilbao, between 150,000 and 200,000 people protested against the Lemoniz Nuclear Power Plant. This has been called the "biggest ever anti-nuclear demonstration".[101]

In France, there were mass protests in the early 1970s, organized at nearly every planned nuclear site in France. Between 1975 and 1977, some 175,000 people protested against nuclear power in ten demonstrations.[1] In 1977 there was a massive demonstration at the Superphénix breeder reactor in Creys-Malvillein which culminated in violence.[102]

In West Germany, between February 1975 and April 1979, some 280,000 people were involved in seven demonstrations at nuclear sites. Several site occupations were also attempted. Following the Three Mile Island accident in 1979, some 120,000 people attended a demonstration against nuclear power in Bonn.[1]

In the Philippines, there were many protests in the late 1970s and 1980s against the proposed Bataan Nuclear Power Plant, which was built but never operated.[103]

In 1981, Germany's largest anti-nuclear power demonstration protested against the construction of the Brokdorf Nuclear Power Plant west of Hamburg. Some 100,000 people came face to face with 10,000 police officers.[97][104][105]

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, the revival of the nuclear arms race, triggered a new wave of protests about nuclear weapons. Older organizations such as the Federation of Atomic Scientists revived, and newer organizations appeared, including the Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign and Physicians for Social Responsibility.[106] In the UK, on 1 April 1983, about 70,000 people linked arms to form a 14-mile-long human chain between three nuclear weapons centres in Berkshire.[107]

On Palm Sunday 1982, 100,000 Australians participated in anti-nuclear rallies in the nation's largest cities. Growing year by year, the rallies drew 350,000 participants in 1985.[99]

In May 1986, following the Chernobyl disaster, clashes between anti-nuclear protesters and West German police were common. More than 400 people were injured in mid-May at a nuclear-waste reprocessing plant being built near Wackersdorf.[108] Also in May 1986, an estimated 150,000 to 200,000 people marched in Rome to protest against the Italian nuclear program, and 50,000 marched in Milan.[109] Hundreds of people walked from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C. in 1986 in what is referred to as the Great Peace March for Global Nuclear Disarmament. The march took nine months to traverse 3,700 miles (6,000 km), advancing approximately fifteen miles per day.[110]

The anti-nuclear organisation "Nevada Semipalatinsk" was formed in 1989 and was one of the first major anti-nuclear groups in the former Soviet Union. It attracted thousands of people to its protests and campaigns which eventually led to the closure of the nuclear test site in north-east Kazakhstan, in 1991.[111][112][113][114]

The World Uranium Hearing was held in Salzburg, Austria in September 1992. Anti-nuclear speakers from all continents, including indigenous speakers and scientists, testified to the health and environmental problems of uranium mining and processing, nuclear power, nuclear weapons, nuclear tests, and radioactive waste disposal. People who spoke at the 1992 Hearing included: Thomas Banyacya, Katsumi Furitsu, Manuel Pino and Floyd Red Crow Westerman.[115][116]

Protests in the United States[edit]

Main article: Anti-nuclear protests in the United States

There were many anti-nuclear protests in the United States which captured national public attention during the 1970s and 1980s. These included the well-known Clamshell Alliance protests at Seabrook Station Nuclear Power Plant and the Abalone Alliance protests at Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant, where thousands of protesters were arrested. Other large protests followed the 1979 Three Mile Island accident.[117]

A large anti-nuclear demonstration was held in May 1979 in Washington D.C., when 65,000 people including the Governor of California, attended a march and rally against

Anti-nuclear demonstration in Colmar, north-eastern France, on October 3, 2009.
The 18,000 km2 expanse of the Semipalatinsk Test Site (indicated in red), which covers an area the size of Wales. The Soviet Union conducted 456 nuclear tests at Semipalatinsk from 1949 until 1989 with little regard for their effect on the local people or environment. The full impact of radiation exposure was hidden for many years by Soviet authorities and has only come to light since the test site closed in 1991.[31]
Following the 2011 Japanese Fukushima nuclear disaster, authorities shut down the nation's 54 nuclear power plants. As of 2013, the Fukushima site remains highly radioactive, with some 160,000 evacuees still living in temporary housing, and some land will be unfarmable for centuries. The difficult cleanup job will take 40 or more years, and cost tens of billions of dollars.[38][39]
Protest against ITER in France, 2009.
Photovoltaic SUDI shade is an autonomous and mobile station in France that provides energy for electric vehicles using solar energy.
Demonstration in Lyon, France in the 1980s against nuclear tests
On 12 December 1982, 30,000 women held hands around the 6 miles (9.7 km) perimeter of the base, in protest against the decision to site American cruise missiles there
Anti-nuclear protest in 1979 following the Three Mile Island Accident.
April 2011 OREPA rally at the Y-12 weapons plant entrance

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