On April 26th, the world once again pauses to remember the horrible tragedy that was Chernobyl and considers whether nuclear power is worth the risk.
“Any short term energy benefits of nuclear power are far outweighed by the massive and perpetual risks of disaster,” said Green Leader Elizabeth May, Member of Parliament for Saanich-Gulf Islands.
The Fukushima disaster brought the problems of nuclear energy back into sharp focus last year, causing many countries to rethink their nuclear programs. Unfortunately, Canada continues to push for more nuclear, and more profits for the uranium industry.
“Canada should be following the lead of Switzerland and considering how we can phase out our nuclear energy stations. Instead, we are pushing nuclear in China and Korea so that we can export more uranium. It is irresponsible,” said May.
Earlier this year, Prime Minister Harper signed an agreement to increase uranium exports to China.
“Nuclear is not an economically sound power source. It is not a clean or green power source. Most importantly, it is not a safe power source,” said Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party.
The Green Party is calling for a full scale and independent review of nuclear safety in Canada.
On April 26th, 1986, the worst nuclear power plant accident in history released a cloud of radioactive contamination, equivalent to 400 times that of the Hiroshima bomb, over large parts of Europe. The fallout has been linked to at least 9,000 excess cancer deaths, according to the World Health Organization. In the Ukraine, 2.3 million people are officially reported as “having suffered from the catastrophe.”
“We need to focus on developing renewable energies which really can be economical and safe,” said May.