The Issues : Nuclear Energy

The history and dedication of Chicago Area Peace Action takes its inspiration and imperative in no small measure from the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan – events which stand as a major demarcation in the line of history.  With this in mind, CAPA again reflects deeply and with great compassion on yet another nuclear tragedy befalling the nation of Japan – the 2011 nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi commercial nuclear power station. CAPA has long recognized the unmistakable and dangerous links that have existed between nuclear weapons and commercial nuclear power, both in the U.S. and internationally. In the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, and residing as it does in the state which is has more commercial nuclear reactors than any other in the U.S., CAPA has come to recognize its responsibility to create not merely a nuclear weapons-free world, but a nuclear-free world. The problems with nuclear power in the real world – not the abstract “with-enough-time-study-and-money-we-can-eventually-solve-all-of-nuclear-power’s-problems” world – are legion and well documented:
  • The threat of a catastrophic accident is always present, as Fukushima and its predecessor Chornobyl have already demonstrated; and the actuality of routine, governmentally-allowed and accidental releases of radionuclides,  and the pollution and contamination from the nuclear fuel cycle are contributing to raising the levels of background radiation on a daily basis, jeopardizing the health of the public and the environment
  • To this day, 60 years into the Nuclear Age, no satisfactory environmentally safe solution the nuclear waste problems exists
  • New nuclear plants are enormously expensive to build compared to other viable energy options, and drain money from these already-available energy choices and technologies
  • Far more electricity is inefficiently used or outright wasted compared to the entire output of both today’s nuclear reactors, and those claimed to be needed in the future
  • Nuclear power has no appreciable effect on alleviating the foreign oil import problem
  • With the exception of coal, nuclear power turns out to be the worst energy option to choose to deal with the climate disruption effects of global warming.  Alternative energy choices and technologies already exist that are cheaper, quicker to implement, and remove more atmospheric carbon per dollar spent than new nuclear reactors
  • Nuclear power inevitably contributes to nuclear weapons proliferation.  It serves as a Trojan Horse for the proliferation of materials, technology, infrastructure and expertise needed to construct nuclear weapons.
The Issues: Military Spending

Bloated military spending is out of control. We need to re-prioritize.

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