Newsmaker: Nuke power not so clean or green
Longtime activist Helen Caldicott sees no silver lining in a nuclear energy renaissance.
By Elsa Wenzel
Associate editor, CNET
Published: June 11, 2007, 4:00 AM PDT
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newsmaker Cold War-era nuclear fears have eased in recent decades, replaced by anxieties over global warming.
Lately, in some circles, nuclear power has gained a new reputation as a pollution-free cure-all for a world starved for clean energy.
But the nuclear industry hasn’t cleaned up its act, according to Helen Caldicott, who spearheaded the nuclear disarmament movement in the 1980s. (Nobel Laureate Linus Pauling nominated Caldicott for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1985.) Caldicott, a pediatrician by training, has devoted 35 years to an international campaign to educate the public about the health hazards of nuclear power.
Not only is atomic energy inefficient, but it adds to greenhouse gas emissions while releasing deadly radiation for countless generations, argues Caldicott. Her recent work is summed up by the title of her book Nuclear Power Is Not the Answer.
She is working with the Nuclear Policy Research Institute, which she founded, to convince Congress that solar and wind power instead can mitigate global warming.