1. In 1945, when the atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the technological option of nuclear fission was announced to the world; humanity was obliged to live with the concrete possibility of deliberate destruction of life on Earth. The news spread faster than human knowledge, meanwhile the belligerent industrial countries built thousands of missiles carrying atomic warheads capable of destroying the planet several times over. All the attempts to accomplish arms reductions have been insufficient.
2. The Pacific population suffered nuclear bombardment, in the form of nuclear testing, which affected their lives tremendously, along with the lives of future generations. Indigenous populations in the United States, and other populations residing in test areas of the former USSR, live with similar problems.
3. With the end of the Cold War, the equilibrium of atomic terror was replaced by the uncontrollable arms trading in Eastern European countries. Peripheral countries, which had been prohibited from entering the "Atomic Club", today, more than ever sponsor nuclear projects with militaristic ends. The military still run a nuclear industrial complex unequalled in history. Hundreds of belligerent war ships, submarines, aircraft carriers, military satellites and reactors are spread all over the earth, though governments could end the threat of nuclear holocaust.
4. The nuclear race extends into the field of electrical energy generation. Instead of being regulated by the real consumer necessities of communities, the energy is generated to feed the electro-intensive industries and wasteful cities; while two-thirds of the population of the planet consume less than the acceptable minimum of electrical energy.
5. The generation of nuclear energy, subsidized by the military, produces over 10,000 cubic meters of highly radioactive waste and over 200,000 cubic meters of low and medium range radioactive waste annually, as well as the spent fuel rods from reactors.
6. Many industrialized countries in the Northern hemisphere, with populations conscious of the severity of nuclear plant accidents (such as Three Mile Island and Chernobyl) decided to stop or abandon nuclear power generation. Meanwhile, these populations continue consuming more and more energy, mostly in products made by electro-intensive industries which have moved to the Third World. The hydro-electric installations in these countries, which have caused tremendous environmental and social repercussions, have nothing to do with the consumer needs of those populations. Some countries of the Third World also increased their electrical energy production with nuclear power programs, with little safety structure and poor security conditions.
7. Poor countries, who consume little energy, are "dumping" zones for thousand of tons of all levels of radioactive waste. The industrial model was sold in a neo-imperialistic manner to the Southern hemisphere, and is causing even more misery there; this leads to the greater generation of electrical energy and creates the same enthusiasm among their armed forces to possess a dominant force of atomic weapons.
8. The energy needs of poor populations cannot and should not be met through large-scale power generators, like the big hydro-electric or nuclear power plants. The social and environmental destruction and the risk from radioactive waste and accidents damage the energy producing countries and not the end consumers. Today the electrical energy generating subsidies constitute important factors of environmental and social degradation of poor populations, as well as intensifying the consumer paradigm of electricity use, which affects the richer populations of the Northern hemisphere.
9. This picture worsens with the new proposals for the future of nuclear power generation. The cycle of plutonium (Pu 239), an extremely toxic and longlived radioactive element produced in the core of the reactor, is intended to be the energy source of the future industrial societies. In addition to its principal use, as an atomic explosive, plutonium is the only abundant substitute available for the limited uranium 235, a rare element of nature which will be exhausted more rapidly than petroleum.
10. Plutonium can be produced in a vast quantities, but any society using plutonium producing reactors must also create a state police for its security. The extraction of plutonium by reprocessing has led to radioactive contamination of the atmosphere and many parts of the oceans.
Alternatives to the Nuclear Threat
11. The non-governmental organizations (NGOs) concerned about the nuclear dilemma, united during the Eco 92 Conference at the International Forum of NGOs and Social Movements, present the following alternatives to the present nuclear threat with which all living species of our planets now live:
Plan of Action
12. Recognize and support the efforts of NGOs, social movements and associations of victims of radiation that contribute to the world awareness of the dangers of nuclear fission
13. Create a world network of NGOs that address the nuclear issue, so as to make the group's efforts more effective
14. Construct an international data bank on current nuclear programs, new technologies of radiological protection, risk management, conversion of jobs in the nuclear industry to more pressing needs and attending to the victims of ionized radiation
15. Organize the commemoration of symbolic dates for the creation of large campaigns against the development of nuclear fission programs and support the initiative of Japanese NGOs, through the Appeal of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, to obtain a billion signatures calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons
16. Plan international meetings, principally in countries that invest the most in nuclear fission programs, to strengthen the fights of NGOs and social movements against nuclear plants and nuclear weapons.
© 2001 by Ulrich Schmitthenner Bildschirm-Version