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 user 2006-06-01 at 11:05:00 am Views: 48
  • #15618

    Spain says “Adios” to nuclear power
    Fourth European country to begin phase out

    Madrid, Spain
    — The nuclear industry recently launched a multi-million dollar
    campaign to try and revive the most expensive, dangerous, and polluting
    way to boil water ever invented. Spain is having none of it. The
    nation’s president has confirmed that the country’s 8 operating plants
    will be phased out in favour of clean, renewable energy.

    Industry lobby groups have been trying to sell 10 new nuclear plants in
    Spain, and have fought hard for legislation that would allow existing
    plants to operate past their planned retirement dates.

    President José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero has confirmed the government’s
    commitment to the phase-out in his State of the Nation address.

    “Zapatero has shown true leadership in preparing the phase out of this
    dangerous and polluting problem and phasing in safe renewable energy
    sources,” said Jan Vande Putte of Greenpeace International.

    “All across
    the world the nuclear industry is drowning in debt, controversy and its
    massive waste issues. It is only kept afloat by the likes of Blair and
    Bush who are pouring billions of dollars of public money into an
    industry which reached the end of its life over a decade ago.”

    Greenpeace was part of a national coalition of environmental
    and civic groups which on May 20th unanimously petitioned the
    government to deliver on election promises of “safer, cleaner, cheaper”

    Zapatero agreed not only to the phase-out, but to
    a widely consultative process to find a solution to what to do with
    existing radioactive waste.

    In a bid to resurrect a failing industry, regular claims of a
    nuclear power revival have been made – the most recent using climate
    change as an excuse to spend further billions to build more reactors.

    But renewable energy is now taking the lead, with a single source such as
    wind energy adding more than 6,000 megawatts to the European grid every year,
    the equivalent to two large nuclear reactors. In only a few years, wind
    power in Spain has grown to 8 percent of the national electricity production.
    In 2005 alone, some 1680 megawatts of new wind power were installed, generating four times as much
    electricity as the Zorita nuclear power plant which Spain closed last month.

    Spain joins Sweden, Germany and Belgium as the fourth European country to abandon nuclear power.