Letter: Environmental horrors caused by the nuclear industry and DDT

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The Independent Online
Sir: The reason people don't believe the nuclear industry is that they are not as gullible as Roger Hayes imagines ('Nuclear: clean, green and better for you' 5 October). Who would trust an industry that has said its electricity would be too cheap to meter and now requires a subsidy costing the average household pounds 54 a year; that dealt with disaster at Windscale by renaming the plant 'Sellafield' and describes a process that turns nuclear waste into more nuclear waste, plus bomb-making plutonium, as 'recycling'?

Greenpeace has recently released video footage of radioactive waste strewn haphazardly into an open trench at the Drigg dump in Cumbria. Nuclear waste is a horror that simply won't go away. The latest proposals for disposing of low-level waste in landfill sites mean that any 'suitable' local authority refuse tip in Britain could become a radioactive dumping ground.

Even without its dirty 'back-end', nuclear power will never be the answer to global warming and acid rain. Cleaner, less expensive solutions than nuclear power are at our fingertips. They include saving energy (everything from low-energy lightbulbs to land-use planning), solar, wind and tidal energy, and a range of advanced fossil fuel technologies such as combined heat and power, which recycles waste heat.

In order to justify its existence, the nuclear industry is forced to present environmental questions as false choices - nuclear power or fossil fuels; lead in petrol or benzene in petrol, DDT or malaria. This is a distortion of reality. Solutions to environmental problems exist, which mean we do not need to choose the lesser of two evils.

Greenpeace will continue to push for real environmental solutions. No amount of green rhetoric will make the nuclear industry the 'good guys'.

Yours sincerely,

SARAH BURTON

Campaign Director

Greenpeace

London, N1

7 October

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