As winter has suddenly come upon us here in Amsterdam, many of my friends and I talk about energy. Heating, electricity, all the costs involved with sustaining our lifestyles, especially at home. And as I peddled to the university this morning to go speak in BlondeButBright‘s class, what would be more fitting to come up in my podcast rotation than a program about the new push for nuclear. More specifically, a program about what is happening to a country like Niger when so much of the world is clammering about building new nuclear powerplants, powerplants that require uranium.. which is something Niger has alot of.
According to the investigation and interviews conducted by Australian public broadcast program Background Briefing, the first world’s demand for access to Niger’s uranium deposits is already impacting the country in a very negative way. Populations being pushed off their land, opponents being arrested or simply eliminated, internal divisions being deepened by those who want to keep the country from being united.
The issue of new or more nuclear energy has deservedly attracted lots of criticism. Commonly for the fact that the world still does not no how to handle nuclear waste, or cope with large scale nuclear accidents, and the overall effect of such power plants on the environment. But the fact that an entire country, like Niger, could be torn apart because nuclear power wants a renaissance, isn’t mentioned.
I highly recommend you listen to this most excellent program as you go about your day. As you flip that lightswitch. As you plugin that laptop. If we’re serious about building a viable future with more sustainable energy sources and socially responsible solutions… nuclear continues to fall short as a solution.