Power too cheap to meter was the mantra heard at the dawn of the atomic age over a half a century ago. Reality, however, stands in stark contrast to this promise. Nuclear power has proven too dangerous and too costly. Our vision for the future must be nuclear free.
The unprecedented and ongoing disaster at Fukushima, Japan, and previous disasters such as Chernobyl, have shown the bare reality and the ever-present danger that our nuclear power plants present. Not only are those living in the region around these sites in constant jeopardy from an accident, but the risk literally extends world-wide, as nuclear contamination can be spread by ocean and air currents, and can be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to clean up effectively. Our aging nuclear power plants and storage facilities are one natural disaster away from a catastrophic incident. The question is not if such an accident will occur here, but when. The reality is that we have no viable long term solution to handle the extremely radioactive and inherently unstable waste that is produced through the operation of our nuclear plants.
Not only is nuclear power inherently dangerous, but when you consider the full life-cycle of the plants, it is expensive as well. The cost to build a new plant and to decommission an old one can easily approach $10 billion. If the cost of spent fuel storage is added in, the total bill will continue to climb higher. It is unethical to borrow this money and resources from future generations. Our decision to use nuclear power today will impact our offspring for many, many years to come. We have fallen into a pit caused by short-sightedness. We must begin to climb our way out.
We call on our elected officials to introduce and pass legislation mandating the decommissioning of all nuclear power plants in our country. We call for legislation requiring a 100% nuclear free power grid by January 1, 2022. We also call on our elected officials to pass legislation to immediately halt construction of new nuclear power plants within the US.
Try as we may, nuclear power is not safe, and we currently lack the knowledge to make it safe. The risks are simply too high. Unless and until the time comes when it can be shown that the dangers from nuclear accidents can be minimized to the point to being nearly non-existent, that long-term storage is no longer an issue, and that the industry can be run in an economically viable manner, we demand that nuclear power generation be prohibited.