The Times – March 4, 2008
Greenpeace should now go pro-nuke
By: Robert Laing
March 4, 2008
Radioactive waste ‘no longer a problem’
Greenpeace was right to stop the bomb and save the whales, but should never have opposed nuclear energy, the environmental group’s co-founder and former director, Patrick Moore, said in Sandton yesterday.
Moore is on a lecture tour of local universities, sponsored by the Nuclear Industry Association of South Africa.
“Climate change has made me a strong supporter of nuclear power,” Moore said.
“I find it logically inconsistent for people in the environmental movement who say that climate change threatens the very existence of our civilisation and could drive millions of species into extinction, to then oppose one of the most important technologies that could bring about the resolution of this crisis.”
The former president of Greenpeace Canada left the organisation in 1986 and now dismisses modern environmental activism as spreading dangerous myths “leading young people into total pessimism” instead of encouraging them to change their behaviour and develop new technologies.
According to Moore, most of the arguments against nuclear power are based on emotion and not facts.
Questioned on what to do about nuclear waste, Moore said: “That is a problem solved by France 30 years ago. Nuclear plants produce very little waste, which is the first reason environmentalists should be in favour of them. Nearly all of their waste can be recycled to be run through nuclear power stations again.
“This has not been possible in the US because of laws introduced by the Carter administration. But France has demonstrated that nuclear waste is a manageable problem.”
Environmental groups such as Earthlife Africa advocate investing in wind and solar power as an alternative to nuclear power.
But Moore dismissed these alternatives as unreliable and expensive.
“Germany has spent billions on wind farms, without replacing a single coal-fired power station,” he said.
Finland’s decision to build a nuclear power station after extensive research heralded a renaissance for the industry, Moore said.
This has prompted China, India and Russia to start building new nuclear plants, and the US is in the process of scrapping Carter-era legislation to reopen its market.