"An unbearable inheritance to future generations"

Global coalition of "Alternative Nobel Prize" laureates and members of the World Future Council condemn nuclear power expansion plans

Hamburg, July 16th 2013: A global coalition of laureates of the Right Livelihood Award and members of the World Future Council warns against an expansion of nuclear power, describing it as "an unbearable inheritance to future generations." The statement is triggered by recent attempts of developing countries and emerging economies to build new nuclear power plants. The 60 signatories of the statement issued today express their particular concern over countries such as Argentina, Brazil, China, India and South Africa which are either in the process of expanding existing nuclear programmes or intend to initiate such programmes in the near future.

"Given the tremendous risks of this technology, the insolvable problem of nuclear waste, and the threat of constantly increasing and spreading the amount of enriched uranium and plutonium needed for nuclear weapons, we strongly urge governments to abandon all nuclear expansion pursuits including commercial negotiations to export nuclear reactor technology and equipment," the statement reads.

Among the signatories are Nnimmo Bassey, Health of Mother Earth Foundation, Nigeria; Dr. Johan Galtung, Founder of the Peace Research Institute in Oslo; Prof. Dr. Rafia Obaid Ghubash, President of the Arab Network for Women in Science and Technology; Prof. Dr. h.c. Vandana Shiva, Founder of the India-based NAVDANYA network; Prof. David Suzuki, Co-Founder of the David Suzuki Foundation, Canada; Judge Christopher G. Weeramantry, former Vice-President of the International Court of Justice, Sri Lanka; and Francisco Whitaker Ferreira, Co-Founder of the World Social Forum, Brazil.

In unusually clear language the signatories of the statement argue that nuclear energy is prone to insolvable infrastructural, economic, social, health, ecological, and security problems. The statement applauds the successful efforts being made around the world to advance renewable energy as the only viable alternative and those governments that have embarked on transforming their energy sectors. "We strongly support the aspirations of numerous regions across the globe in moving towards 100% decentralized renewable energy to meet electricity, heating and transport needs," state the signatories.

The statement ends with a call on governments "to remove existing barriers to renewable energy development and to abandon nuclear power – in their countries as well as outside their own territorial borders – once and for all."

World Future Council
The World Future Council brings the interests of future generations to the centre of policy-making. Its 50 eminent members from around the globe have already successfully promoted change. The Council addresses challenges to our common future and provides decision makers with effective policy solutions. The World Future Council is registered as a charitable foundation in Hamburg, Germany. For more information see www.worldfuturecouncil.org and www.futurepolicy.org.

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