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Conf: No Need 4 Nuclear
No need for nuclear: CND conference to hear the facts from a brilliant range of experts cnduk.org/component/k2/item/2712-no-need-for-nuclear 17 June 10:15am to 5pm Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL Refreshments & Registration begin at 945am

Speakers include:
  • Chris Baugh, Assistant General Secretary, PCS union;
  • Professor Andrew Blowers, Open University; Emeritus
  • Professor Godfrey Boyle, Open University;
  • Dr Tom Burke, Director and Chairman, E3G Consultants;
  • Alasdair Cameron, Friends of the Earth;
  • Molly Scott Cato MEP, Green Party;
  • Dr Carl Clowes, former Deputy Director NHS Wales;
  • Emeritus Professor David Elliott, Open University;
  • Dr Paul Dorfman, University College London;
  • Dr Ian Fairlie, Independent Consultant;
  • Antony Froggatt, co-author World Nuclear Industry Status Report;
  • Dr Doug Parr, Chief Scientist, Greenpeace UK;
  • Kelvin Hopkins MP, Labour Party;
  • Dr Kate Hudson, General Secretary, CND;
  • Professor Tim Mousseau, University of South Carolina, US;
  • Professor Steve Thomas, University of Greenwich;
  • Dr David Toke, University of Aberdeen;
  • Andrew Warren, Chairman of the British Energy Efficiency Federation.
Jitsi chat: enfo.pia@gmail.com
Conference Report:

"On the Saturday 17th June CND hosted a successful and significant anti-nuclear power conference, No Need for Nuclear: The Renewables are Here at Conway Hall in central London.

With over 150 attendees of all ages, and 17 speakers including academics, MPs and activists, the conference was a great success. The conference started with a video message from Caroline Lucas MP, currently representing Parliamentary CND in New York at negotiations on a nuclear ban treaty. The remainder of the conference was broken into 4 sections: What’s wrong with Nuclear power? and The Politics of Nuclear Power followed by UK Energy Demand, Energy Supply, and The Renewables after lunch.

Despite the morning focusing primarily on the problems associated with nuclear power, and the afternoon discussing the benefits of renewable energy, trends began to emerge. It soon became apparent how renewables were not only a quicker, more versatile alternative but their cost has nose-dived in the past 20 years despite the technology having improved leaps and bounds. So much power has been produced, for example, by wind farms that prices have fallen to 1/10th of their normal level. We heard how only a few weeks ago, the National Grid reported that renewables supplied 50.7% of power to the UK, a huge milestone towards a world free from nuclear power/fossil fuels.

On the other hand, projected costs for new nuclear programmes in the UK, like the one at Hinkley Point C, are estimated at €39 billion but likely to run higher. This, teamed with bankruptcies at Areva and Westinghouse/Toshiba and the indebtedness of EDF, questions have already been raised as to whether these programmes will go ahead or simply be footnoted within public expenditure. What many at the conference pointed to was how nuclear was definitely on the retreat, and the argument for renewable energy only gets stronger and stronger.

The discussion about the damage that nuclear power poses to the general population was disturbing. Light was shed on government sponsored investigations into the radiation related illness and cancers experienced by those that lived close to power plants. Despite the investigation known as KiKK being intended to illustrate how living near nuclear power plants was harmless, the results backfired, seeing rising incidents of child leukaemia and other forms of cancer solids rising by as much as 120% within 5km of power plants.

This was when a plant is performing as expected. When it malfunctions, like in Chernobyl, the impacts were seen to be as far reaching at the UK, even further. Locally, flora and fauna in Chernobyl have been under duress for 30 years, mutations leaving them victim to cancers and cataracts while economic costs are estimated to have been as high as $700 billion. Costs for Fukushima are expected to surpass this figure, taking into account the losses faced in shutting down the 50 power plants in the aftermath of the 2011 earthquake/tsunami.

These statistics were stuck in our minds as we listened on to how the new Conservative government remained silent on nuclear power in their latest manifesto, and Labour continues to bicker internally on its position on the subject despite the very public views aired by their leadership. Speakers also called attention to the trade unions failure to recognise just how many jobs renewables provide for the industry over nuclear, 16 times as many according to official data.

A common theme was talking about planned phasing-out of the UKs remaining 8 nuclear power stations as has been happening across Europe in Switzerland and Germany. One speaker demonstrated how between 300 and 4000 local energy schemes had been organised by co-ops up and down the country, erecting wind turbines and solar panels in an effort to pick up the slack in the government’s position. With over 10,000 members and 500 local authorities these programmes are bringing democracy to the people, uniting communities and providing independence from energy corporations.

The presence of politicians at the conference was also an essential part of the dialogue. Three Green Party representatives and one from Labour, facilitated a cross party debate which engaged directly with the concerns of the audience. Their component demonstrated the need to engage with these issues on a political level if we are see changes occur in the future.

At lunchtime a photograph was taken in Red Lion Square as part of the global Day of Action in support of the UN negotiations on a nuclear ban treaty in New York."

Source: http://cnduk.org/component/k2/item/2712-...or-nuclear
Jitsi chat: enfo.pia@gmail.com

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