Call to action on the 8th of July



Climate Criminals in Scotland and beyond

................If nuclear power is the answer, we need a different question...................


I am writing to you from the dissent climate action group...

The struggle against Nuclear energy is coming to a head, with world leaders beginning to take action on future oil shortages by recommending Nuclear as the way forward. Activists across the world have known for a long time that nuclear only leads to trouble, and the anti-nuclear movement has an inspiring past of actions in protest of nuclear energy. In Scotland this July the leaders of the 8 most powerful leaders in the world will meet, and continue to willfully mismanage the situation, promoting nuclear and attempting to make it sound like an acceptable option.

July the 8th has been called as an International Day of Action Against the Root Causes of Climate Change. Coinciding with the G8 summit, actions will happen all over the world. This is a very important time for action against new nuclear energy programmes which have been on the G8 table as viable options in tackling climate change. Rather than reducing heavy industry, the G8 leaders will encourage expensive, dangerous and unreliable projects as 'solutions' to the global problem of climate change.

There have been rumblings about the possibility of a new generation of nuclear power plants in the UK for some time. In the days following the re-election of the Labour government, fears about this programme have been confirmed, with the emergence of a government memorandum revealing that the government will try to push through decisions on building more nuclear
plants, in the full knowledge that "it is generally easier to push through controversial issues early in a new parliament".(Department of Productivity, UK 09.05.05). Grossly underestimating the opposition I hope.

As the recent news has shown, the new government will try and convince members of the public into thinking that nuclear is safe. This is despite the fact nuclear plants have a history of accidents, leaks and explosions and that there is no safe way of disposing of nuclear waste.

It is not just in the UK that nuclear energy is facing a revival. During 2004 the uranium spot market price exceeded the benchmark of 20.00 US$/lb U3O8, and since then a frenzy of acquisitions of innocent tracts of land began, involving many exploration companies previously not involved in the uranium business. In India four new uranium mines have been proposed,
one of which helped spark a protest march through Shillong and two one-day general strikes. Kazakhstan recently disclosed its ambition to become the world´s leading uranium producer by upping its annual production from 3000 to approx 16,000t by 2015. Countries such as Russia, Ukraine and Belarus have begun to start-up nuclear plants, some with the support of the US and the EBRD (European Bank of Reconstruction and Development - public money).

Pressure from those inside the nuclear industry has influenced governments to take on an industry already in financial disarray. In 2004 the World Health Organisation (WHO) once more revised its provisional guideline value for uranium in drinking water, now from 9 µg/l to 15 µg/l, while the original value had been 2 ?g/l. The change once again is not based on new toxicity
data, but on a revision of the allocation of the tolerable daily intake to drinking water, now from 50% to 80%.

In a clever PR move, the UK Government has flagged up climate change as an issue to deal with during their G8 presidency, though the most movement to date seems to be pushing nuclear as the only alternative to fossil fuels. The claims the government will use to make nuclear energy look like a positive move will be that it is a 'green' energy and doesn't produce CO2. The
nuclear cycle is highly energy-intensive, with mining, milling, processing, enrichment, waste and transportation all carbon-intensive. Nuclear plants cannot vary their production to meet demand, as the reactors must run at a constant rate. Therefore they cannot aim to cover the world´s full electricity demand.

Even if nuclear energy could meet electricity needs, electricity production only accounts for a fraction of our CO2 emissions, and very little has been done so far to discourage other sources of emissions. Indeed, new roads are built and air-plane fuel is still not taxed! This will not improve the chances of any state to reach the targets set by Kyoto. A new nuclear energy
programme might suggest targets can be reached but it will in fact not cut emissions in the short term, will leave us with a legacy of dangerous waste, and still, in the not too distant future, we will have to deal with the problem of extracting ever more difficult to utilise uranium. Uranium is a finite substance just as gas, coal and oil are and good grade uranium has already been depleted. In the future, uranium extraction will be increasingly costly and carbon-intensive to utilise. Sound familiar?

In order to take climate change seriously, we need to take the bigger picture of our consumption into account. The UK Prime Minister TonyBlair has refused to encourage 'lifestyle' changes (The Independent 9th May 2005) and it is clear he has no intention of really tackling climate concerns through the industry. The world has reached its peak of oil and gas extraction, and in the future, there will be massive inequalities in access to fossil fuels which will forcibly change the lifestyles of everyone on the planet. On the other hand, renewable energy sources, such as wind, biomass, solar and mini-hydro, are easy to decentralise and accessible to individuals and communities, with no need to involve big corporations. Hydrogen and nuclear energy production is high tech, and this is why they are easy for governments and corporations to control.

Nuclear weapon states have a serious dependency on nuclear power stations in the production of weapons-grade plutonium, uranium and tritium. The UK's nuclear arsenal relies on a constant supply of tritium as it has to be replaced every 8 years. Chapelcross power station in Scotland, which is now being decommissioned, has played a major role in the UK's nuclear weapons programme. Spent fuel can also be used for "bunker busters", armour piercing anti-tank munitions, low yield ground impacts nuclear weapons...Depleted uranium shells were used in both Iraqi wars.

The next few months could be crucial for campaigns against the nuclear industry. The 8th of July is a chance to show not just the UK government but the other G8 countries and the world's media that people will not stand for being arm-twisted or conned into accepting a nuclear future.

By taking action in whatever way your campaign feels happy on the 8th of July, wherever you are, you will support the actions of other groups and show solidarity with the many indigenous peoples around the world suffering at the hands of mega-corporations who are destroying their lands and murdering their people for the fossil fuel industry.

This is a call for anyone involved in resistance to nuclear energy to speak up on the 8th of July, in the way that you and your friends work best.You can do this in your home town, or you can plan something for when you come to Scotland this summer. Dissent can provide advice on Scottish law, some legal support, and some ideas on UK nuclear energy companies and

If you do not want to organise your own action there is a blockade planned for the 4th of July at Faslane in Scotland (part of a series of well-organised mass blockades of the nuclear military base), and Friends of the Earth has called a noise demo at Gleneagles on the 7th.

Please contact me at greenpix_z@yahoo.co.uk if you would like publicity materials such as postcards or posters about the day of action. There are also documents on climate change and the G8 and on exposing the myths and facts about nuclear energy. If your campaign decides to do something for this day or to do with the new nuclear energy programme please let us know so we can inspire others to take action.

Thank you, and good luck!.