Statement by Jeremy Wates, EEB Secretary General, on the 30th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster (26 April 1986):
Last week world leaders met in New York to sign the Paris climate agreement, which includes the aim to try to keep global warming below 1.5 Degrees C. It is disappointing and deeply worrying that many countries still believe that nuclear power needs to play a significant role in the switch to a low carbon economy other than in the short term.
Thirty years after the Chernobyl disaster, major questions remain about the safety of nuclear power. Problems related to waste disposal remain unresolved. Indeed, a recent study by the European Commission revealed that Europe is facing a €253bn bill for nuclear waste management and plant decommissioning, with only €120bn having been set aside. Further, the safety upgrades needed following the the Fukushima disaster are making many ageing European reactors unprofitable and building new reactors is clearly uneconomical. Reactors also risk being targets for terrorist attacks as shown by the recent developments in Belgium.
Energy efficiency and sustainable renewable energy are the only options for the future that make sense in terms of tackling climate change, being cost efficient, ensuring energy security and keeping the public safe.