As we all know, there is a certain amount of natural radiation on Earth, known as background radiation, this can be used for medical breakthroughs such as X-Rays. However, there are dangerous amounts of radiation that can be exploited which are then dangerous to close by population and the environment.
In our search for sustainable ‘green’ renewable energy, the Government advocates the use of Nuclear power stations but this comes with massive risk. Even though Nuclear power stations cut greenhouse gas emissions by 8%, this will come too late, as power plants take 10 years to set up and run safely, and even then they can be unpredictable. Through the decades we have seen the evidence of what can go wrong with the running of Nuclear power plants in disasters such as Chernobyl and Fukushima which have caused mass effects to the populations who were anywhere near the Nuclear fallout.
The type of radiation and its consequences, caused by these fallouts, has been described by Wendla Paile, Chief Medical Officer, Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority in Finland. She states ‘Radiation may be described as small packets of energy…when they hit the genetic code, the DNA molecule, they can break it. Radiation can also leave a trace in you. It can change the genes. Mutate the genes. It can cause malformation or disease or dysfunction’. This can cause cancers which take up to 60-80 years to fully develop seeing second generation with severe illness. This can only reaffirm the fear of devastation that Nuclear energy may cause.
The Government and Prime Minister David Cameron announced that the decision to upgrade or replace TRIDENT, Britain’s nuclear deterrent, will not be made until after the General Election in 2015. Originally, Defence Secretary Liam Fox MP, before his embarrassing dismissal, claimed that the capital gross cost of TRIDENT would be £25billion, almost double the original estimate of £11-14 billion.
So, while the current Government cut jobs in the public sector, they support the use of billions of pounds of tax payers’ money to arm Britain with Nuclear weapons that could cause destruction to anyone who were to cause threat to Britain – this is not good enough. We have already seen the devastation these weapons can cause; the US dropped two bombs of less power on Nagasaki and Hiroshima at the end of World War II in which the populations of those cities are still bearing witness now.
This is why organisations like CND and Stop the War Coalition campaign to ‘Cut War not Welfare’. Britain is one of only nine countries to hold a Nuclear deterrent or have Nuclear arms – just nine. There is no current threat to the UK or its population; if we follow a policy of unilateralism surely other countries would follow.
The nuclear deterrent should be scrapped. David Cameron or the next Government should think very carefully about the plans for the nuclear deterrent in 2016. Do we want to be safe from a false threat or do we want to see unemployment reach 3 million plus? As for the search for renewable energy, we will keep looking. But Nuclear power stations are not the answer.
By Karl Stanley