Chernobyl, site of the worlds worst nuclear accident.
20 years later the population still suffers terrible health problems.
“Energy experts” are recommending nuclear energy for Ghana. There is renewed interest around the world in nuclear energy, which is perceived as the fastest, easiest, and cheapest way to increase electrical supply in a country.
Nuclear power is a big mistake.
Until now, nobody, in any country, has figured out a safe way to dispose of the nuclear waste from nuclear plants.
This, along with the health hazards, are what stopped the construction of nuclear plants in the United States. Nuclear waste is accumulating in the existing plants and causing health problems in the surrounding neighborhoods. The Bush administration has tried to get nuclear construction started again, but there is still no solution to the waste. It was all supposed to be transported to Nevada and buried. But transporting it across country is terribly dangerous. And there is no way to guarantee that once buried, it will not get into the surrounding land and ground water. Citizens of Nevada and around the country are fighting this with the Nevada Nuclear Waste Task Force.
European countries are already using African countries, and the oceans off the coast of Africa as dumping grounds for nuclear waste.
. . . for the past 15 years or so, European companies and others have used Somalia as a dumping ground for a wide array of nuclear and hazardous wastes.
“There’s uranium radioactive waste, there’s leads, there’s heavy metals like cadmium and mercury, there’s industrial wastes, and there’s hospital wastes, chemical wastes, you name it,” he said. “It’s not rocket science to know why they’re doing it because of the instability there.”
. . .
The Asian tsunami dislodged and smashed open the drums, barrels, and other containers, spreading the contaminants as far away as 10 or more kilometers inland.
. . .
The results of the contamination on coastal populations, Mr. Nuttall says, have been disastrous.
“These problems range from acute respiratory infections to dry, heavy coughing, mouth bleedings, abdominal hemorrhages, what they described as unusual skin chemical reactions,” he noted. “So there’s a whole variety of ailments that people are reporting from these villages where we had a chance to look. We need to go much further and farther in finding out the real scale of this problem.”
Poor countries are victims of that illegal trade, which constitutes a threat to their biodiversity and culture, and hurts their chances for development.
In addition, what guarantees do we have that the plants will be well managed and that inspectors can not be bribed? Accountability is a problem in the United States, which has fairly good inspection regulations and law enforcement. The people who operate the plants in the US are still not always as careful about safety as they should be. They most certainly cannot be trusted without reliable oversight.
Two thirds of the energy produced by nuclear power is waste in the form of heat. It creates thermal pollution in the water supply, such as the Hudson River in New York state. Do we want more water pollution in Ghana?
Ghana should turn thumbs down to nuclear power.