Year 1998

IPPNW - Nobel Prize Winner in 1985 - Requests that Reprocessing Be Put to an End and Nuclear Power Plants Be Phased Out By the End of Their Current License Periods At Latest

WISE-Paris, 14 December 1998

[Posted 14/12/1998]

The International Council of IPPNW (International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, Peace Nobel Prize winner in 1985) has adopted on 8 December 1998 at Melbourne, during its 13th Annual Congress, a resolution concerning the risks due to the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

This resolution, "Weapons and Nuclear Energy - The Links", is a sharp turn away from the previous position of this federation, which until then worked solely on the military aspects of nuclear issues, and did not position itself on the peaceful uses of nuclear power.

This resolution notably requests for both commercial and military reprocessing to be put to an end, phasing out existing nuclear power plants at latest at the end of their current operating license, as well as the end to MOX use.

IPPNW Resolution: Nuclear Weapons and Nuclear Energy - The Links (Text from IPPNW)

Bearing in mind that:

1. The acquisition of nuclear-weapons-usable materials is the most difficult step in the making of nuclear weapons and the most important obstacle to proliferation.

2. Commercial reprocessing produces plutonium that can be used to make nuclear weapons.

3. The creation of a technical infrastructure and of plutonium (and or uranium-233) is an inevitable accompaniment of the use of nuclear energy, and large surpluses of weapons usable commercial plutonium have been built up as a result.

4. Nuclear power makes proliferation more likely and verification more difficult.

5. All existing designs of nuclear reactors are vulnerable to accidents and can become targets of attack, for instance in conventional wars or due to terrorism, thereby creating an intolerable risk for health and environment.

6. The commercial nuclear fuel cycle creates health risks for many generations in a manner similar to nuclear weapons production.

7.There are far more satisfactory ways from the point of view of economy and health to meet the worlds energy needs than nuclear energy.

8. Unless the industrialized countries of the West make a firm commitment to phase out nuclear energy other countries are unlikely to give it up.

Be it resolved that IPPNW will work towards the following goals:

1. Reprocessing, both commercial and military, should be stopped.

2. No new nuclear power plants should be built or commissioned in any country and existing nuclear power plants should be phased out at most by the end of their current license periods.

3. Separated plutonium whether from commercial or military sources, should not be used in nuclear reactors to generate energy.

4. Immobilization of plutonium should be used as the way to put all military and all separated commercial plutonium stocks into non-weapons-usable form.

5. The financial, scientific and technological resources of society should be used to meet energy needs in far more efficient and less dangerous ways than nuclear power.

The first steps to be taken should include

- Informing all IPPNW affiliates about the links between nuclear energy and nuclear weapons.

- At this crucial juncture, creating a project to work in coalition with other groups to stop all military and commercial reprocessing.

- Creating a project to analyze the health implications of use of nuclear power as an energy source.

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