Gordon Edwards, president, Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility
Dr. Edwards, an expert on nuclear technology, refutes the claims of the nuclear industry as it pushes purportedly “new and improved” nuclear power plants, so-called “advanced” nuclear power plants, and particularly small modular reactors. He explains that these smaller nuclear power plants are not new and not improved, but were “things that were tried 50 and 60 years ago” and didn’t succeed then. Now, he says, with governments prepared to spend “bundles of money…trillions of dollars” to combat climate change, the nuclear industry is wheeling out these old designs to “try to rescue itself from a very rapid decline.” These smaller nuclear power plants are not safer than large nuclear power plants. They “are just as prone to failure as large reactors.” Any nuclear power plant is “a warehouse of radioactive poisons,” says Dr. Edwards “and anything that blows these poisons out into the environment constitutes a disastrous accident.” That can happen “if you’re small, that can happen when you’re big.” Furthermore, the small plants produce more nuclear poisons, more nuclear waste, than large nuclear reactors. Meanwhile, safe, clean, green renewable energy is here with its costs having plummeted. “Renewables are now about four times cheaper than nuclear” with solar and wind systems far quicker to build, thus having a “rapid payback” to challenge climate change and swiftly. The Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility was founded in 1970 because “we were not being told the truth about nuclear energy” and it has been working ever since to get the truth out—now especially about the falsehoods the nuclear industry is pushing about “new and improved” nuclear power plants.