A short version (one page) and a long version of CCNR’s new Fact Sheet entitled “Medicine and Nuclear Power” are linked below.
The contribution of nuclear power to world energy production has been in a steep decline for the last 25 years. Intense efforts to resuscitate the industry at the beginning of the twenty-first century were largely unsuccessful. At that time, some nuclear corporate giants were bankrupted in the attempt (Areva, Westinghouse) and a number of financial scandals occurred (Vogtle, Olkiluoto, Flammanville).
Now the nuclear industry is lobbying hard to create an entire new fleet of reactors which they dub “Small Modular Nuclear Reactors” (SMNRs). In doing so, all the problems associated with nuclear power in the past are denied: radioactive waste, proliferation of nuclear weapons, catastrophic accidents, exorbitant costs – none of these will afflict the new fleet of reactors. Or so we are told.
To help overcome societal resistance to renewed nuclear expansion, and to secure access to public funding and political support, proponents are now making exaggerated claims about the vital importance of nuclear power to modern medicine through the production of medical isotopes.
In response, the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility has produced a one-page fact sheet, accompanied by explanatory notes, to expose these unsupported claims as profoundly misleading.
Modern medicine does not depend on nuclear power. All electricity producing reactors could be shut down permanently with little or no impact on best medical practices.
Any isotopes (radioactive materials) that are considered medically required can be produced by accelerators or small research reactors.
Medical procedures that do not involve radioactivity are increasingly preferred.
Gordon Edwards, PhD, President,
Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility
One-Page Fact Sheet: Medicine and Nuclear Power
One-Page Fast Sheet with Explanatory Notes: