The Overview section of our new Handbook provides simple explanations of the entire nuclear fuel chain
What is the difference between an open pit and an in-situ leach uranium mine? How does a nuclear power plant produce electricity? What happens to reactor fuel once it’s no longer usable? What is the difference between high-level and low-level radioactive waste and where is it stored? Why isn’t reprocessing really “recycling”?
We may know the answers to some or all of these questions. But can we deliver a succinct, clear, accessible answer to explain them to someone not already steeped in the issue?
As any activist engaged in anti-nuclear advocacy knows, nuclear power is a complex topic and describing each phase of the nuclear fuel chain can quickly bog us down in long, technical explanations. And once we go there, eyes glaze and we lose our audience.
Proponents of nuclear energy have taken full advantage of this, downplaying and minimizing the risks and using facile and superficially appealing sound bites, unsupported by facts, to convince people that nuclear power is benign and useful for climate change.
Facts are what we believe will change people’s minds. But the idea that bombarding someone with a deluge of irrefutable facts about the dangers of nuclear power will automatically win them to our cause has proven to be an illusion. It doesn’t necessarily work.
We do need facts, of course. And that is where our Handbook — The Case Against Nuclear Power: Facts and Arguments from A-Z — comes in. We must be able to accurately describe why nuclear power is dangerous, uneconomical and unjust. But we must do so in succinct, simple lay language. And then, once the basics are understood, we need to move people. And that is why the Beyond Nuclear International website came to be born, providing a natural home for the Handbook and expanding from facts to compelling narratives…