Blessing or Blight?
Publisher: United Church -- Division of Mission, Canada
Year Published: 1977
Resource Type: Serial Publication (Periodical)
Cx Number: CX340
Abstract: This issue sheet examines the human survival and quality of life questions underlying the present nuclear debate. It explains the basic process of nuclear fission and how this in turn is used to produce electric energy. Examined are the operations of the Canadian CANDU reactor, the problem of not being able to safely dispose of its wastes that remain dangerous for half a million years, and the fact that the reactor which can provide fuel for atomic weapons is being sold internationally. Other health and environmental hazards in the mining, processing, and use of uranium are also dealt with.
The paper also identifies the threat to democratic rights as a consequence to a commitment to developing nuclear energy. The production of nuclear energy requires a concentration of wealth and power possible only to a government or major corporation. Such a commitment is seen as draining off investment that might be used in other energy sectors that need development. In addition, nuclear programmes lock us into a high technologically controlled, centralised, elitist, totalitarian state. Aside, from the political and environmental hazards, nuclear development is highly capital intensive, providing low employment in the industry.