100 good reasons against nuclear power

People in the small Black Forest town of Schönau in Germany have bought the local electricity grid and are now offering atomic-power-free green power all over the country.

It started as a parents’ initiative in response to the 1986 meltdown in Chernobyl.  Click here for the story of the Elektrizitätswerke Schönau (EWS, Electricity Works Schönau) in English.

The EWS has produced an interesting list of 100 reasons that make good arguments against nuclear energy. I reproduce it below. For now you’ll have to make do with the bare bones, or read the expanded texts in German, but if I get time I’ll translate them.





#1 Dependency


All uranium has to be imported (to Europe).


#2 Expulsions

Uranium mining destroys the basis of life of tens of thousands of people.


#3 Water wastage

Uranium mining robs precious drinking water.


#4 Radioactive sludge lakes

Toxic sludges produced by uranium mining endanger people and the environment.


#5 Cancer from the mine

Uranium mining causes cancer.


#6 Dead earth

Uranium mining leaves behind dead earth.


#7 Expensive dirt

If it’s possible at all, cleaning up uranium mining areas devours billions.


#8 Uranium shortage

For 20 years already uranium mines have not been able to satisfy the consumption by nuclear power stations.


#9 Limited deposits

Uranium reserves will be depleted in a few decades.


#10 Uranium transportation

An accident with uranium hexafluoride can have catastrophic consequences.


#11 Plutonium freight

To produce fuel rods, many tonnes of pure weapons-grade plutonium are transported on European roads every year.


#12 Cancer danger

Nuclear power stations make not only children ill.


#13 Emissions

Through their smoke stacks and their effluents nuclear power stations pass radioactive pollutants into the air and waters.


#14 Flawed limits

The radiation protection limits allow for radiation damage to occur.


#15 Low dosage radiation

Low dosage radiation is more dangerous than officially presumed.


#16 Tritium

Radioactive waste materials from nuclear power stations even imbed in the DNA.


#17 Hot streams

The warm effluent water from nuclear power stations robs fish of oxygen.


#18 Radiant jobs

Thousands of unskilled atomic labourers do the dirty work in nuclear power stations – often without adequate protection from radiation.  


#19 Self-protection

The bosses of the nuclear electricity stations themselves privately keep a long way away from their stations.


#20 Safety flaws

None of the present 17 nuclear power stations in Germany would now be given a licence to operate.


#21 Age risk

The longer an atomic power station has operated, the more unsafe it becomes.


#22 Notifiable occurrences

Every three days a “security-relevant occurrence” happens in a German atomic power station.


#23 Shortage of replacement parts

New mistakes are easily made when nuclear power stations are repaired.


#24 Stone-age technology

Technology 30 years old is ready only for the scrap heap!


#25 Earthquake danger

Atomic power stations are insufficiently secured against earthquakes.


#26 Aircraft crash

Atomic power stations are not protected against aircraft crashes.


#27 Collapsing new constructions

Even new reactor types are not safe.


#28 Insurance cover

Taken together, 50 cars are better insured than an atomic power station.


#29 Total meltdown

A total meltdown, the worst assumable accident in a nuclear power station, can happen any day.


#30 Safety ranking

Even in an international comparison, German nuclear power stations are unsafe.


#31 Wild weather

Even just a thunderstorm can cause a power outage in a station, one of the most dangerous situations.


#32 Profit greed

If there’s doubt, profit goes before safety in an atomic power station – even after explosions.


#33 Human risk factor

People make mistakes – fatal in an atomic power station.


#34 Boracic acid

Several operators of nuclear power stations for years ignored operating regulations.


#35 Cable chaos

Mistakes in the electrics of nuclear power stations are par for the course  – with grave consequences.


#36 Worse than Chernobyl

A total meltdown in a German nuclear power station would have worse consequences than those from Chernobyl.


#37 Cancer for millions

In case of a total meltdown in Germany, millions of people would have to expect serious impairment of their health.


#38 Loss of home

In case of a total meltdown, an area of scores of thousands of square kilometres becomes permanently uninhabitable.


#39 Evacuation

Evacuation of an entire region in a few fours is not possible.


#40 Iodine scarcity

Iodine tablets are useless if one has to leave the house to get them.


#41 Economic collapse

A total meltdown causes national economic collapse.


#42 Atomic waste mountains

Atomic power produces any amount of atomic waste.


#43 Disposal lie

Not one gram of atomic waste has yet been harmlessly disposed of.


#44 Technically unsolved

Final storage has not even been solved technically.


#45 One million years

Atomic waste remains a radiating danger for one million years.


#46 Atomic waste dump Asse II

The “trial final repository” Asse is being flooded by brine after only 20 years of operation.


#47 No final repository

Worldwide there is no safe final repository for highly radioactive waste.


#48 Not in my back yard

No one wants the atomic waste.


#49 Castor tricks

Atomic waste caskets are insufficiently tested.


#50 Reprocessing lie I

The so-called reprocessing of fuel rods turns atomic waste into more atomic waste.


#51 Atomic waste on the beach

Reprocessing plants are radioactive polluters.


#52 Reprocessing lie II

Immense quantities of atomic waste from Germany are still stored in the reprocessing plants in France and Great Britain.


#53 Atomic waste dump Morsleben

West German nuclear companies unscrupulously tipped their waste into the Morsleben salt mine that was the former communist East Germany’s nuclear dump.


#54 Atomic waste dump Schacht Konrad

Right under the city of Salzgitter 865 kilograms of plutonium are to be stored some day.


#55 Interim dumps

Highly radioactive atomic waste is being kept in sheds not much better than potato barns.


#56 Castor radiation

Castor waste caskets exude radioactive radiation.


#57 Short-term disposal

The Castor caskets holding atomic waste are officially stated to last 40 years.


#58 Muzzles for experts

To make Gorleben the possible final repository, the federal government muzzled its geologists.


#59 Water in Gorleben

Water is leaking into the Gorleben salt deposit, too.


#60 Atomic waste destroys final repositories. Radioactivity decomposes the salt rock.


#61 Cracks in granite

Even granite is too mobile for atomic waste.


#62 Radioactive cooking pots

Cooking puts made from nuclear power stations’ waste.


#63 Uranium waste to Russia

The uranium enrichment plant in Gronau dumps its waste in Russia.


 #64 Moonshine fantasies

The moon is too far away.


#65 Nuclear alchemists

Transmutation doesn’t solve the atomic waste problem, either.


 #66 Supply security

Atomic power stations by no means deliver power reliably.


 #67 Surplus capacities

Atomic power stations are superfluous.


#68 Greenhouse effect

Atomic power is not CO2-free.


#69 Climate protection

Atomic power does not save the climate.


#70 Efficiency dud

Atomic power is pure waste of energy.


#71 Waste of electricity

Atomic power promotes waste of electricity.


#72 Subsidies

The atomic industry picks up billions in government subsidies.


#73 Tax-free fuel

Uranium consumption is tax-free.


#74 Tax-free reserves

The atomic corporation don’t have to pay tax on billions in revenue.


#75 Research impediment

Atomic ruins devour billions in research funding.


#76 Profit extension

Only the corporations would profit from longer running times for atomic power stations.


#77 Power prices

Atomic power drives up power prices.


#78 Not marketable

New atomic power stations can’t be profitable.


#79 Corporation might

Atomic power cements the centralised structure of the energy supply and the might of the electricity corporations.


#80 Loss of liberty

Atomic power robs our freedom and curtails our basic rights.  


#81 Right to life

Atomic power breaches the basic right to life. 


#82 Police violence

To suppress protest against atomic power, the state resorts to violence.


#83 50 years of discord

Atomic power splits society and has done so for decades. 


#84 Corporation policies

The energy corporations have much too much influence on politics.


#85 Treating people as stupid

For more than 30 years the power corporations have spun the fairytale of “the lights going out without atomic power”.  


#86 Unwanted

No one wants to live next to an atomic power station.


#87 Ethics

Using atomic power is unethical. 


#88 Camouflage program

Civilian and military uses of atomic energy are inseparable.  


#89 Fast breeders

“Fast breeders” potentiate the dangers of proliferation of nuclear weapons.  


#90 Dirty bombs

Radioactive substances from atomic facilities can be used for dirty bombs.


#91 Targets of attack

Atomic power stations are potential targets of attack.  


#92 Uranium ammunition

Waste from uranium enrichment becomes radioactive ammunition. 


#93 War over uranium

The uranium hunger of the atomic industry foments new conflicts.


#94 Renewable energies

A 100% renewables-based energy supply is possible.  


#95 Not compatible

Atomic power and renewable energies don’t get along.


#96 Investment impediment

Atomic power prevents innovation and investment. 


#97 Two per cent technology

Atomic power cannot make any meaningful contribution to the energy supply.


#98 Phasing-out model

Atomic power is a phasing-out model globally.


#99 Jobs

Atomic power endangers jobs.


#100 Energy turnaround

Atomic power blocks the energy turnaround.