Quotable Quotes

Former US Vice President Al Gore:

“For eight years in the White House, every weapons-proliferation problem we dealt with was connected to a civilian reactor program. And if we ever got to the point where we wanted to use nuclear reactors to back out a lot of coal … then we’d have to put them in so many places we’d run that proliferation risk right off the reasonability scale.” (<www.grist.org/news/maindish/2006/05/09/roberts>)

Former US President Bill Clinton:

“The push to bring back nuclear power as an antidote to global warming is a big problem. If you build more nuclear power plants we have toxic waste at least, bomb-making at worse.” (Clinton Global Initiative, September 2006.)

Former Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating:

“Any country with a nuclear power program “ipso facto ends up with a nuclear weapons capability”. (AAP, October 16, 2006.)

Assoc. Prof. Tilman Ruff from the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons:

“A world free of nuclear weapons will be much more readily achieved and sustained were nuclear power generation being phased out.”

(9 November 2009, ‘Hiroshima and the World: We can imagine and build a world free of nuclear weapons’, www.hiroshimapeacemedia.jp/mediacenter/article.php?story=20091109140250161_en)

Editorial in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists:

“As we see it, however, the world is not now safe for a rapid global expansion of nuclear energy. Such an expansion carries with it a high risk of misusing uranium enrichment plants and separated plutonium to create bombs. The use of nuclear devices is still a very dangerous possibility in a world where Russian and U.S. ballistic missiles are on hair trigger and long-standing conflicts between countries and among peoples too often escalate into military actions. As two of our board members have pointed out, ‘Nuclear war is a terrible trade for slowing the pace of climate change.'”

(14 January 2010, www.thebulletin.org/content/media-center/announcements/2010/01/14/it-6-minutes-to-midnight)

Victor Gilinsky, former member of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission:

“We should support as much nuclear power as is consistent with international security; not as much security as the spread of nuclear power will allow.” (‘A call to resist the nuclear revival’, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 27 January 2009, .)

Dr Mark Diesendorf, University of NSW:

“On top of the perennial challenges of global poverty and injustice, the two biggest threats facing human civilisation in the 21st century are climate change and nuclear war. It would be absurd to respond to one by increasing the risks of the other. Yet that is what nuclear power does.” (‘Need energy? Forget nuclear and go natural’, October 14, 2009, www.theage.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/need-energy-forget-nuclear-and-go-natural-20091014-gvzo.html)

International Panel on Fissile Materials:

“Even with stringent and equitable new rules to govern nuclear power, its continued operation and certainly any global expansion will impose serious proliferation risks in the transition to nuclear disarmament. A phase-out of civilian nuclear energy would provide the most effective and enduring constraint on proliferation risks in a nuclear-weapon-free world.” (Global Fissile Material Report, 2009, www.fissilematerials.org/ipfm/pages_us_en/documents/documents/documents.php)

Ranger Uranium Environmental Inquiry, 1977:

“The nuclear power industry is unintentionally contributing to an increased risk of nuclear war. This is the most serious hazard associated with the industry.”

Sir Phillip Baxter, former head of the Australian Atomic Energy Commission:

“Almost every action, every piece of research, technological development or industrial activity carried out in the peaceful uses of atomic energy could also be looked upon as a step in the manufacture of nuclear weapons. There is such an overlap in the military and peaceful technologies in these areas that they are virtually one.” (Australian Doubts on the Treaty, Quadrant, Vol.XII(3), 1968, p.31.)

(Then) IAEA Director-General Mohamed El Baradei:

“If a country with a full nuclear fuel cycle decides to break away from its non-proliferation commitments, a nuclear weapon could be only months away. In such cases, we are only as secure as the outbreak of the next major crisis. In today’s environment, this margin of security is simply untenable.” (December 2005, ‘Reflections on Nuclear Challenges Today’.)