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With No Solutions to Offer, Greenpeace Brings Out the Scare Tactics

The debate over nuclear energy in the U.K. reached a new low today as Greenpeace U.K. trotted out a video depicting a passenger jet crashing into a seaside nuclear power plant as a screaming family looked on.

Color U.K. resident John Connors unimpressed:
I'm no nuclear advocate, but blantantly manipulative ploys like this *really* annoy me, and deserve to backfire. Next straw man please.
And he's not the only one.

I can't say I'm terribly surprised about this
. After all, now that a growing number of environmentalists (including Greenpeace International co-founder Patrick Moore) are coming to realize how the expanded use of nuclear energy can contribute to clean air, controlling carbon emissions and enhancing energy security, groups like Greenpeace U.K. and their confederates around the world are having to turn to increasingly shrill and hysterical tactics -- and as we've seen, those tactics are starting to backfire.

If you want facts, you might want to start with this NEI backgrounder on plant security.

In the meantime, I'll be waiting for a Greenpeace video of a British family freezing in their home after Russia cuts off natural gas supplies to Western Europe. But we all know something like that would never happen, right?

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mdmhvonpa said…
"In the meantime, I'll be waiting for a Greenpeace video of a British family freezing in their home after Russia cuts off natural gas supplies to Western Europe."

Problem is that the Greens are particulary interested in the human race exiting the track ... it's just not stated as such so a few more frozen babies are just a means to their cause.
corallina said…
Let me preface by saying that Greenpeace should concentrate on more plausible rationales to convince the public to their way of thinking. That aside, Greenpeace is simply using the same propanganda the us and other shameless western govt's spew by way of excuses to restrict civil liberties and violate borders by force.
Ivan said…
I must say the production is great. I really like this home video feel. The storyline is dramatic as well. It's a great example of advertising.

Also, it's a great example how twisting facts one can convince you and make you do things that you would not believe in or do if you had the time to do proper research.

First of all, nuclear plants are designed to withstand the crash of a 747, so the damage on the pictured plant would not do any environmental disaster. Not any bigger than any other plant being bombed with a plane, be it a coal or wind power plant.

So, basically the storyline is flawed. Because the family after the crash will be able to go home unharmed, but the viewer would be terrified and imagine the worst chernobil or hiroshima like nuclear disasters. Hope this is good news for you.

Sencond the whole message of the ad that nuclear plants are bad for people is just plain wrong. The public is extremely confused about this question in general, because there are important scientist, businessman and scientist are on both sides.

But, the fact remains. If we want to live in modern cities and towns with electricity, water and all the modern lifestyle we enjoy today and not willing to live in a wooden house and freeze to death in the winter we have to add nuclear energy to the mix of energy sources that mass produce electricity for us.

Nuclear power is the cleanest form of energy. The byproducts are very little and well managable. You only use a few kilos of uranium a year and you can dispose of it later in a very safe and clean way.

Unlike in the case of coal or oil where the byproducts are released to the air in tonnes from every plant in the form of CO2 and other poisonous elements.

Many people don't know that the byproducts released by a coal plant has a very high radiation, because coal has a small amount of radioactive material, which we are releasing to the athmosphere directly without gilt. And we are talking about millions of tonns of coal burned. Ironically the air around a nuclear plant is cleaner than the air around a coal plant.

Other alternative energy sources are not an option at this point of our technological development. Wind produces too little energy to feed a whole city. We would have to cover the whole planet with windmills, which would make all the areas next to them inhabitable because of the high noise pollution and they would kill birds like a papershredder.

Solar energy is very low in efficiency to produce electricity. We would have to cover insanely large amounts of land to produce just a fraction of the needed energy for a city. That would mean there are no crops on that land. Also, maintenance is high. One would have to clean them constantly. Besides the production of solar cells is a messy business.

The other problem with alternative energy sources is that if there is no wind or sun there is no energy. We don't have the means to store large amounts of electricity, so the supply has to be constant, which means for every kilowatt of solar energy we would have to build a backup coal plant that would need to be kicked in when there is no enough sunlight. Like every night.

The above two and many other alternative energy sources are good for local supplementary energy production to decrease your home electricity by some percents, but you can never run a factory on solar panels for example.

All the issues that come up against nuclear technology are based on fear and lack of knowledge and this is understanable. When somebody says nuclear plant, most people think of Chernobil and Hiroshima. Very few think about those 300+ nuclear plants that are operating successfully around the globe producing a huge amount of clean and safe energy every day.

Chernobil was a first generation plant. The ones being installed today are 3rd generation plants, that are by design can't melt down. Much like you can't drown a surf board by design. The technology is very far from the technology of Chernobil in every sense.

The other argument that comes up againts nuclear energy is that it allows the production of weapon grade plutonium and that we can't guarantee that the nations using nuclear technology for civil energy production will not sell the plutonium to some shade organizations or countries. What they fail to mention however is that plutonium in the form it comes out from the nuclear reactor as a byproduct can't be used for a bomb. It need purification and only 3-4 countries produce equipment for purifying plutonium. And, here we need to blame France, who sells this technology to anyone who pays for it. International effort that is all concentrated on a futile fight against nuclear energy should rather be more educated and concentrated on stopping France selling the purification technology which makes bomb making possible. Purification is the key, not the plutonium or uranium that can be mined in many places around the globe.

What about a dirty bomb? Exploding a simple explosive with some radioactive material that will pollute large areas and kill thousands by radiation? Simple. It's nonsense. Several researches showed that people would survive and recover without a trace of the event if exposed to such a dirty bomb. The radioactive material would be spread to such small pieces that it would not radically affect bystanders. Of course the explosion itself would kill, but a dirty bomb is not any more harmful than a normal bomb. Hope this is good news to you too.

If in doubt about whether nuclear energy is good or bad, please don't base your decision on a well ochestrated ad like the one above. Do your research and check facts presented by opposers.

Nuclear energy (until we have fusion, which is still very far away unfortunatelyy) is part of the solution to global greenhouse problems. Time to get to know more about nuclear energy and use it. Or we will have an even bigger problem than we have already have by overusing fossil fuels.
Brian Mays said…
Ivan said, "So, basically the storyline is flawed. Because the family after the crash will be able to go home unharmed, ..."

Well, perhaps not, if the family is hit by any of the wreckage of the aircraft that is ejected after striking all of that reinforced concrete.

I think the message is clear ... Ban Airplanes!

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