Atomkraft? Nein danke!
Posted by That Other Mike on 30/01/2008
HT to Politics’n’Poetry for this one:
BERLIN (Reuters) – A German study has found that young children living near nuclear power plants have a significantly higher risk of developing leukemia and other forms of cancer, a German newspaper reported on Saturday.
“Our study confirmed that in Germany a connection has been observed between the distance of a domicile to the nearest nuclear power plant …. and the risk of developing cancer, such as leukemia, before the fifth birthday,” Suddeutsche Zeitung newspaper quoted the report as saying.
While this study is by no means conclusive, it does bring up the worrying possibility that nuclear power could be dangerous to local people.
The common arguments for nuclear power are that it is relatively green in comparison to conventional forms of power and relatively safe, at least in terms of actual obvious nuclear accidents. This report, though, is definitely cause for concern.
The supposed green aspects of nuclear power are dubious at best; yes, it isn’t giving off huge clouds of carbon dioxide, which is a good thing, but that isn’t the only facet of a power source being called environmentally friendly. Carbon is not the only fruit, so to speak. We have to look at it in relation to its total effect on the locale, not just one aspect thereof.
The overall impact of nuclear power is potentially huge – via accidents like Chernobyl and possible local health issues. The question is, do we want to trade a definite evil like global warming for a potential evil like nuclear disaster?
If there were no alternative, it might be an acceptable trade-off; but there are alternatives. We have the technology to begin phasing in greener options which would be cheaper, less dangerous and more effective at supplying our needs.
Even peace would be boosted – I can see us going to war for oil or uranium, but for wind and waves? I don’t think so. The entire geopolitical landscape could change overnight if the West adopted a concerted programme of green power – we would be able to truly pursue an ethical foreign policy for a change.
And regardless of whether you agree with the environmental agenda, that is something which is long overdue.