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Part 1 is framework

Energy policy making must be understood in a social context.


This requires situating nuclear in the broader context of
society and the economy to understand that traditional cost
benefit assessment relies on flawed technological optimism.
Glover et al 06
(Policy Fellow at the Center for Energy and Environmental Policy, University of Delaware, **Directs the Urban Studies and Wheaton in Chicago
programs, selected to the Chicago Council on Global Affairs Emerging Leaders Program for 2011-2013, ***2007 Nobel Peace Prize winner,
Distinguished Professor of Energy & Climate Policy at the University of Delaware, Head of the Center for Energy and Environmental Policy
(Leigh Glover, Noah Toly, John Byrne, Energy as a Social Project: Recovering a Discourse, in Transforming Power: Energy, Environment, and
Society in Conflict, p. 1-32, http://www.ceep.udel.edu/energy/publications/2006_es_energy_as_a_social_project.pdf) *bracketing in original

From climate change to acid rain, contaminated landscapes, mercury


pollution, and biodiversity loss, 2 the origins of many of our least
tractable environmental problems can be traced to the
operations of the modern energy system. A scan of nightfall
across the planet reveals a social dilemma that also accompanies this
systems operations: invented over a century ago, electric light remains an
experience only for the socially privileged. Two billion human
beingsalmost one-third of the planets populationexperience evening light
by candle, oil lamp, or open fire, reminding us that energy
modernization has left intactand sometimes exacerbatedsocial
inequalities that its architects promised would be banished
(Smil, 2003: 370 - 373). And there is the disturbing link between
modern energy and war. 3 Whether as a mineral whose control is fought over by
the powerful (for a recent history of conflict over oil, see Klare, 2002b, 2004, 2006), or as the
enablement of an atomic war of extinction, modern energy makes modern life possible and

With environmental crisis, social inequality, and


military conflict among the significant problems of
contemporary energy-society relations, the importance of a
social analysis of the modern energy system appears easy to
establish. One might, therefore, expect a lively and fulsome
debate of the sectors performance, including critical inquiries into the politics, sociology,
and political economy of modern energy. Yet, contemporary discourse on the
subject is disappointing: instead of a social analysis of energy regimes,
the field seems to be a captive of euphoric technological
visions and associated studies of energy futures that imagine the pleasing consequences
threatens its future.

of new energy sources and devices.4 One stream of euphoria has sprung from advocates of
perhaps best represented by the unflappable
optimists of nuclear power who, early on, promised to invent a magical fire

conventional energy,

(Weinberg, 1972) capable of meeting any level of energy demand inexhaustibly in a manner too
cheap to meter (Lewis Strauss, cited in the New York Times 1954, 1955 ).

In reply to
those who fear catastrophic accidents from the magical fire or the
proliferation of nuclear weapons, a new promise is made to realize
inherently safe reactors (Weinberg, 1985) that risk neither serious accident nor
intentionally harmful use of high-energy physics. Less grandiose, but no less optimistic, forecasts
can be heard from fossil fuel enthusiasts who, likewise, project more energy, at lower cost, and
with little ecological harm (see, e.g., Yergin and Stoppard, 2003). Skeptics of conventional
energy, eschewing involvement with dangerously scaled technologies and their ecological
consequences, find solace in sustainable energy alternatives that constitute a second euphoric
stream. Preferring to redirect attention to smaller, and supposedly more democratic, options,
green energy advocates conceive devices and systems that prefigure a revival of human scale

development, local self-determination, and a commitment to ecological balance. Among


supporters are those who believe that greening the energy system embodies universal social
ideals and, as a result, can overcome current conflicts between energy haves and havenots.
5 In a recent contribution to this perspective, Vaitheeswaran suggests (2003: 327, 291),
todays nascent energy revolution will truly deliver power to the people as micropower meets
village power. Hermann Scheer echoes the idea of an alternative energy-led social
transformation: the shift to a solar global economy... can satisfy the material needs of all
mankind and grant us the freedom to guarantee truly universal and equal human rights and to
safeguard the worlds cultural diversity (Scheer, 2002: 34). 6 The euphoria of contemporary
energy studies is noteworthy for its historical consistency with a nearly unbroken social narrative
of wonderment extending from the advent of steam power through the spread of electricity (Nye,

The modern energy regime that now powers nuclear


weaponry and risks disruption of the planets climate is a
product of promises pursued without sustained public
examination of the political, social, economic, and ecological
record of the regimes operations. However, the discursive landscape has
1999).

occasionally included thoughtful exploration of the broader contours of energy-environmentsociety relations. As early as 1934, Lewis Mumford (see also his two-volume Myth of the Machine,
1966; 1970) critiqued the industrial energy system for being a key source of social and ecological
alienation (1934: 196): The changes that were manifested in every department of Technics rested
for the most part on one central fact: the increase of energy. Size, speed, quantity, the
multiplication of machines, were all reflections of the new means of utilizing fuel and the
enlargement of the available stock of fuel itself. Power was dissociated from its natural human
and geographic limitations: from the caprices of the weather, from the irregularities that
definitely restrict the output of men and animals. By 1961, Mumford despaired that modernity had
retrogressed into a lifeharming dead end (1961: 263, 248): ...an orgy of uncontrolled production
and equally uncontrolled reproduction: machine fodder and cannon fodder: surplus values and
surplus populations... The dirty crowded houses, the dank airless courts and alleys, the bleak
pavements, the sulphurous atmosphere, the over-routinized and dehumanized factory, the drill
schools, the second-hand experiences, the starvation of the senses, the remoteness from nature
and animal activityhere are the enemies. The living organism demands a life-sustaining

Modernitys formula for two centuries had been to


increase energy in order to produce overwhelming economic
growth. While diagnosing the inevitable failures of this logic, Mumford nevertheless
warned that modernitys supporters would seek to derail
present-tense 7 evaluations of the eras social and ecological
performance with forecasts of a bountiful future in which,
finally, the perennial social conflicts over resources would end.
Contrary to traditional notions of democratic governance, Mumford observed that the
modern ideal actually issues from a pseudomorph that he named the
democratic-authoritarian bargain (1964: 6) in which the modern
energy regime and capitalist political economy join in a
promise to produce every material advantage, every
intellectual and emotional stimulus [one] may desire, in
quantities hardly available hitherto even for a restricted
minority on the condition that society demands only what
the regime is capable and willing to offer. An authoritarian
energy order thereby constructs an aspirational democracy
while facilitating the abstraction of production and
consumption from non-economic social values. The premises of
the current energy paradigms are in need of critical study in the
environment.

manner of Mumfords work if a world measurably different from the present order is to be
organized. Interrogating modern energy assumptions, this chapter examines the social projects
of both conventional and sustainable energy as a beginning effort in this direction. The critique
explores the neglected issue of the political economy of energy, underscores the pattern of
democratic failure in the evolution of modern energy, and considers the discursive continuities

between the premises of conventional and sustainable energy futures. The Abundant Energy
Machine8 Proposals by its stakeholders to fix the modern energy system abound. Advocates
envision bigger, more expensive, and more complex machines to spur and sate an endlessly
increasing world energy demand. From clean coal to a revived nuclear energy strategy, such
developments promise a worldwide movement to a cleaner and more socially benign energy
regime that retains its modern ambitions of bigger, more, and better. Proponents even suggest
that we might have our cake and eat it too, promoting patterns of energy production,
distribution, and consumption consistent with an unconstrained ideology of quantification while
also banishing environmental threats and taming social risks that energy critics cite in their
challenges to the mainstream. Consistent with a program of ecological modernization, the
conventional energy regimes architects are now exploring new technologies and strategies that
offer what are regarded as permanent solutions to our energy troubles without harming our
ecological future or disturbing the goal of endless economic growth and its attendant social
relations.

Part 2 is Harms
We are in the midst of a global nuclear renaissance- corporate propaganda markets nuclear power as the
only solution to climate change to shut down alternative energy. Wasserman, MA, 16
(Harvey - journalist, http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/07/29/ny-times-pushes-nukes-while-claiming-renewables-fail-to-fight-climate-change/ ,
7-29)

that nuclear power might fight climate change, and that


environmentalists might support it, is a recent concoction, a disgraceful, desperate load of utility
hype meant to defend the status quo. Fukushima, unsolved waste problems and the
plummeting price of renewables have solidified the environmental
communitys opposition to nuke power. These reactors are dirty and
dangerous. They are not carbon-free and do emit huge
quantities of heated water and steam into the ecosphere. The utility industry cant
6. The idea

get private liability insurance for them, and relies on the1957 Price-Anderson Act to protect them from liability
in a major catastrophe. The industry continually complains about subsidies to renewable energy but never
mentions this government protection program without which all reactors would close. 7. Not just nuke power but

the entire centralized fossil/nuke-based grid system is now


being undermined by the massive drops in the price of
renewable energy, and massive rises in its efficiency and
reliability. The critical missing link is battery technology. Because the
sun and wind are intermittent, there needs to be energy storage to smooth out supply. Elon Musks billion-dollar

Tesla Gigafactory in Nevada and many other industrial ventures indicate major battery
breakthroughs in storage is here today. 8. Porters NY Times piece correctly says
that the massive amounts of cheap, clean renewables flooding the grid in
Europe and parts of the U.S. are driving nuclear power plants into
bankruptcy. At least a dozen reactor shut downs have been announced in the U.S. since 2012 and
many more are on their way. In Japan 52 of the 54 reactors online before the Fukushima disaster are now closed.

Porter attacks this by


complaining that those nukes were supplying base load power
that must be otherwiseaccording to himshored up with fossil
burners. Heres his key line: Renewable sources are producing temporary power gluts from Australia to
California, driving out other energy sources that are still necessary to maintain a stable supply of power. But
as all serious environmentalists understand, the choice has
never been between nukes versus fossil fuels. Its between
centralized fossil/nukes versus decentralized renewables. Porters
And, Germany has pledged to shut all its reactors by 2022. But

article never mentions the word battery or the term rooftop solar. But these are the two key parts in the
green transition already very much in progress. So here is what the Times obviously cant bring itself to say:
Cheap solar panels on rooftops are now making the grid obsolete. The key bridging element of battery back-

there is absolutely no need for nuclear


power plants, which at any rate have long since become far too
expensive to operate. Spending billions to prop up dying nuke
reactors for base load generation is pure corporate theft at
the public expense, both in straight financial terms and in the
risk of running badly deteriorated reactors deep into the
future until they inevitably melt down or blow up. Those billions
instead should go to accelerating battery production and
distribution, and making it easier, rather than harder, to gain energy independence using the wind and
the sun. All this has serious real-world impacts . In Ohio, for example, a
well-organized shift to wind and solar was derailed by the
Koch-run legislature. Some $2 billion in wind-power investments and a $500 million solar farm
up capability is on its way. Meanwhile

were derailed. There are also serious legal barriers now in place to stop homeowners from putting solar shingles
and panels on their rooftops.

Meanwhile, FirstEnergy strong-armed the Ohio

Public Utilities Commission into approving a huge bailout to


keep the seriously deteriorated Davis-Besse nuke operating,
even though it cannot compete and is losing huge sums of
money. Federal regulators have since put that bailout on hold. Arizona and other Koch-owned legislatures
have moved to tax solar panels, ban solar shingles and make it illegal to leave the grid without still paying
tribute to the utilities who own it. Indeed, throughout the U.S. and much of the western world, corporate-owned
governments are doing their best to slow the ability of people to use renewables to rid themselves of the

For an environmental movement serious about saving


the Earth from climate change, this is a temporary barrier. The
Times and its pro-nuke allies in the corporate media will
continue to twist reality. But the Solartopian revolution is
proceeding ahead of schedule and under budget. A renewable,
decentralized energy system is very much in sight. The only
question is how long corporate nonsense like this latest NY Times screed can
delay this vital transition. Our planet is burning up from fossil
fuels and being irradiated by decrepit money-losing reactors
that blow up. Blaming renewable energy for all that is like
blaming the peace movement for causing wars. The centralized King CONG
corporate grid.

grid and its obsolete owners are at the core of the problem. So are the corporate media outlets like the New
York Times that try to hide that obvious reality.

At the heart of this renaissance is a drive to colonize other


countries to sustain our nuclear addiction Wittman PhD 11
Wittman, Nora [Ph.D. African American Studies] The Scramble for Africa's Nuclear Resources New African
No.507 June 2011

THE CURRENT NUCLEAR POLLUTION in Japan and the reactions


of politicians and governments throughout Europe, the USA
and Asia, even in the eye of disaster, indicate that they will never stop using
nuclear power for military means and domestic energy
generation and supply. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] As Japan was battling to control pollution
from its Fukushima nuclear plant, destroyed by the massive earthquake that hit the region on II March, French President Nicolas
Sarkozy was firmly pronouncing that a withdrawal from nuclear energy was totally out of question for France and will not happen-80% of domestic energy in France comes from nuclear plants. A few hours later, EU ministers deemed it sufficient to submit

the
nuclear industry and their party allies throughout the political
spectrum have been for a long time in a tight marriage that is
far too beneficial for them to split. Africa is currently the
continent where nuclear power plants are least present. Only
one such plant is present in South Africa, imposed by the
apartheid regime in the 1970s. It is located in Koeberg, 30km north of Cape Town, yet surrounded by the city's
ever-spreading suburbs, and was built by a French company. Like most nuclear power plants, it has
European nuclear power reactors to a so-called "stress test", and even then only on a voluntary basis. Apparently,

experienced serious problems and its reactors have had to be shut down several times, especially since 2005. Of course, the idea
is not totally unconceivable that there could have been more severe incidents before, and that in apartheid times the white
supremacist regime would not have made it a top priority to inform and protect the surrounding African people. In 2010, 91
members of staff were contaminated with Cobalt-58 dust in an incident that was said to be confined to the plant only. In view of
these facts and the recent developments, it should be clearer than ever that Africa must not follow the path to ultimate and lasting
nuclear destruction that European, North American and Asian leaders seem to be determined to continue to take. Indeed, Africa
may not only have the responsibility to save itself from this fate, but may also ultimately have the power to save the world from
some of this otherwise pre-programmed nuclear disaster. How? By refusing to let its vast nuclear resources be exploited. South
Africa's only nuclear power plant, In Koeberg, 30km north of Cape Town, was imposed by the apartheid regime in the 70s

The nuclear powers are increasingly experiencing


and preparing for problems of supply with the necessary crude
nuclear materials such as uranium and plutonium. Even though it is said that
countries such as the USA, Russia and China have or rather had vast uranium resources themselves, all of
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

are now very eager to identify, secure and exploit


mines for nuclear materials throughout Africa. Africa, the continent endowed
these countries

with the richest natural resources, has vast nuclear materials in its soil. Almost every African country is currently being mined or
examined and prepared for nuclear exploitation. According to a recent report updated in February 2011 by the World Information
Service on Energy (WISE), an environmental activist amalgamation based in Amsterdam, China National Nuclear Group, being that
country's biggest nuclear power plant builder, signed a deal with the China-Africa Development Fund, a Chinese state-run

. French, Canadian,
British, Swiss, Japanese, Russian, Chinese, Australian and
other companies are mining uranium, or have signed contracts
to do so very soon with Algeria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon,
Central African Republic, DRCongo, Gabon, Malawi, Mali, Chad,
South Africa, Tanzania, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra
Leone, Uganda, Zambia and other African countries.
institution, in 2010 to examine and exploit uranium resources throughout Africa

Nuclear power is justified through emergency framing which creates


a nuclear state of exception. Dangers are depoliticized in favor of
remote cataclysms, which warps cost benefit assessment. Kaur 11
(Raminder PhD, University of Sussex, Professor of Anthropology & Cultural Studies A nuclear renaissance, climate change andthe state of
exception, THE AUSTRALIAN JOURNAL OF ANTHROPOLOGY Volume 22, Issue 2)

Increasingly, nation-states such as China, France, Russia, Britain and India are promoting the nuclear option: first, as the main large-scale solution
to developing economies, growing populations and increasing
demands for a consumer-led lifestyle, and secondly, to tend to
environmental concerns of global warming and climate
change.1Indias Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, speaking at a conference of atomic scientists in Delhi,
for instance, announced a hundredfold increase to470,000 megawatts of energy that could come from Indian
nuclear power stations by 2,050. He said, This will sharply reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and will be a
major contribution to global efforts to combat climate change, adding that Asia was seeing a huge spurt in
nuclear plant building for these reasons (Ramesh2009). The Fukushima nuclear reactor disaster of March 2011
has, for the time being at least, dented some nation-states nuclear power programmes. However, in India, the
government has declared that it has commissioned further safety checks whilst continuing its nuclear

Whilst the carbon lobby, including the fossil-fuels industries,


stand to gain by undermining the validity of global warming, it
appears that the nuclear lobby ben-efits enormously from the
growing body of evidence for human-based global warm-ing.
This situation has led to a significant nuclear renaissance with the
promotion of nuclear power as clean and green energy. John Ritch, Director General of the World Nuclear
Association, goes so far as to describe the need to embrace nuclear
power as a global and environmental imperative, for
Humankind cannot conceiv-ably achieve a global clean-energy
revolution without a huge expansion of nuclear power (Ritch nd). To
development as before.

similar ends, Indias Union Minister of State for Environ-ment and Forests, Jairam Ramesh, remarked, It is

With a subtle
sleight of hand,nuclear industries are able to promote
themselves as environmentally beneficial whilst continuing
business-as-usual at an expansive rate. Such global and national views
on climate change are threatening to monopo-lise the entire
environmentalist terrain where issues to do with uranium and thorium mining, the ecological costs of nuclear power plant
construction, maintenance, operation and decommissioning,
the release of water coolant and the transport and storage of
radioactive waste are held as subsidiary considerations to the
paradoxical that environmental-ists are against nuclear energy (Deshpande 2009).

threat of climate change. Basing much of my evidence in India, I note how the
conjunction of nuclear power and climate change has lodged
itself in the public imagination and is consequently in a powerful position,
creating a truth regime favoured both by the nuclear lobby and
those defenders of climate change who want more energy without
restructuration of market-influenced economies or changes in
consumerist lifestyle. The urgency of climate change discourses
further empowers what I call the nuclear state of exception
which, in turn, lends credence to the veracity of human-centric
global warming.

The nuclear state of exception provides authoritarian decision


making that privilege technocratic experts and exclude viewpoints
of everyday citizens bleeds into all of society. Kaur, PhD, 11
(Raminder PhD, University of Sussex, Professor of Anthropology & Cultural Studies A nuclear renaissance, climate change andthe state of
exception, THE AUSTRALIAN JOURNAL OF ANTHROPOLOGY Volume 22, Issue 2)

Although Giorgio Agambens (2005) work on the normalisation of exceptional state practice has
been much cited, it would appear that Robert Jungk anticipated some of his main axioms.

Jungk outlines how the extraordinary, as it pertains to the


states possession of nuclear weapons and the development of
atomic industries since the mid-1940s, became the ordinary
(Jungk 1979: 58). When associated with nuclear weapons, the state operates under the guise of a
paradigm of security which promises peace in terms of a nuclear deterrence to other countries
and also legiti-mates the excesses of state conduct whilst abrogating citizens rights in the name

state authoritarianism applied to


all nation-states with nuclear industries: Nuclear power was
first used to make weap-ons of total destruction for use
against military enemies, but today it even imperils citizens in
their own country, because there is no fundamental difference
between atoms for peace and atoms for war (Jungk 1979: vii). The
of national security. Jungk adds that, in fact,

inevitable spread of tech-nological know-how through a range of international networks and the
effects of the US atoms for peace program in the 1950s led to a greater number of nations
constructing institutions for civilian nuclear power, a development that was later realised to
enable uranium enrichment for the manufacture of weapons .Because

of the
indeterminacy between atoms for peace and atoms for war, the
nuclear industries began to play a key part in several nations
security policies, both externally with reference to other states and also internally with
reference to objec-tors and suspected anti-national contingents. Jungk notes the
important social role of nuclear energy in the decline of the
constitutional state into the authoritarian nuclear state by
focussing on a range of indicators, including a report published by the American
National Advisory Committee on Criminal Justice in 1977 which suggested
that:in view of the high vulnerability of technical civilization, emergency legislation
should be introduced making it possible temporarily to ignore
constitutional safeguards without previous congressional
debate or consultation with the Supreme Court.(1979: 135) The bio-technopolitical mode of governance encapsulates subjects into its
folds such that it becomes a technical civilisationa
civilisation that, although promis-ing favourable aspects of

modernity to the populace and development for the coun-try,


is also to be accompanied by several risks to human and
environmental safety that propel states, including democracies
further towards authoritarianism. Big sci-encethat is, science
that is centralised or at least circumscribed by the stateand
the bureaucracies surrounding it play a critical part in the
normalisation of the state of exception, and the exercise of
even more power over their citizens. Jungk elaborates on the
routinisation of nuclear state violence, epistemological,
juridical and physical:Such measures will be justified, not as
temporary measures made necessary by an exceptional
emergency but by the necessity of providing permanent
protection for a perpetually endangered central source of
energy that is regarded as indispensable. A nuclear industry
means a permanent state of emergency justified by a
permanent threat. (1979: 135)This permanent state of emergency
with respect to anything nuclear applies to restrictions on
citizens freedom, the surveillance and criminalisation of critics
and campaigners, the justification of the mobilisation of
thousands of police men and sometimes military to deal with
peaceful demonstrators against nuclear power, and a
hegemony on truth-claims where the nuclear industries are
held as the solution to growing power needs whilst advancing
themselves as climate change envi-ronmentalists. In this way,
power structures and lifestyles need not be altered where
nuclear power becomes, ironically, a powerful mascot of clean and
green energy. In India, the capitalist modality of the nuclear state was exacerbated by
the ratification of the Indo-US civilian nuclear agreement in 2008, a bilateral accord which enables
those countries in the Nuclear Suppliers Group to provide mate-rial and technology for Indias
civilian nuclear operations even though it is nota signatory to the Nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty.
This has led to an expansionof the nuclear industries in the country where the limited indigenous
resources of uranium could then be siphoned into the nuclear weapons industries. The

imposition of the nuclear state hand-in-hand with multinational


corporations in regions such as Koodankulam in Tamil Nadu (with the Russian nuclear company, Atomstroyexport), Haripur in West Bengal (with the Russian company,Rosatom) or Jaitapur

without due consultation with


residents around the proposed nuclear power plants, has prompted
S. P. Udayakumar (2009) to recall an earlier history of colonization
describing the contemporary scenario as an instance of
nucolonisation(nuclear + colonisation).The Indian nuclear state, with its especial
in Maharashtra (with the French company, Areva),

mooring in central government, hasconducted environmental enquiries primarily for itselfand


this so in only asummary fashion. In a context where the Ministry of Environment and Forestscan
override the need for an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report forthe first two nuclear
reactors at Koodankulam in 2001, saying that the decisionwas first made in the 1980s before the
EIA Notification Act (1994); or where theSupreme Court of India can dismiss a petition against the
construction of thesereactors simply by saying: There is no reason as to why this court should sit
inappeal over the Governmental decision relating to a policy matter more so, whencrores of
rupees having (sic) been invested (cited in Goyal 2002), then there is astrong basis upon which
to consider the Indian state as a whole as a nuclearisedstatethat is, a state wherein matters
relating to nuclear issues are given inordi-nate leeway across the board .

The nuclear
enclave consisting of scientists, bureau-crats and politicians, is

both the exception to and the rule that underpins the rest of
state practice. So even though we may be talking about a
domain of distinct governmental practice and political technology as
encapsulated by the notion of a nuclear state, it is evident that its influence
spreads beyond the nuclear domain in a discourse of
nuclearisation through state-related stratagems which have
become increasingly authoritarian and defence-orientated since
the late 1990s. In a nut-shell, discourses about the urgency of climate
change, global warming, nuclearpower and defence have
converged in a draconian and oppressive manner that now
parades itself as the necessary norm for the nation. Despite their
particularities, machinations of the Indian nuclear state are also nota-ble elsewhere. Joseph Masco
elaborates on the national-security state in the USA(2006: 14). Tony Hall comments upon the
defence-dominated, well-cushioned(nuclear) industry in the United Kingdom (1996: 10). And on
the recent issue of the construction of more nuclear power stations in Britain, David Ockwell
observesthat a public hearing was only undertaken for instrumental reasons (i.e. it was alegal
requirement), as demonstrated by a public statement by then prime ministerTony Blair that the
consultation wont affect the policy at all (2008: 264). These narratives are familiar across the
board where a nuclear renaissance is apparent. But critics continue to dispute the hijacking of
environmentalism by the state and argue that if climate change is the problem, then nuclear
power is by no means a solution. Moreover, the half-life of radioactive waste cannot be brushed
away in a misplacedvindication of the saying, out of sight, out of mind

Nuclear power reinforces all levels of social division- its


centralized, technocratic nature legitimates these views
throughout society and corrupts all levels of scientific analysis.
Martin et. Al 84
(The main authors are Jill Bowling, Brian Martin, Val Plumwood and Ian Watson, with important contributions from Ray Kent, Basil Schur and
Rosemary Walters. Strategy against nuclear power http://www.bmartin.cc/pubs/86sa.html)

Nuclear power is not an automatic or


inevitable development. Technology is not neutral but develops in
ways which correspond to social structures. The social
structures which favour and in turn are favoured by nuclear
power include capitalism, patriarchy, the intellectual division
of labour and the state. The connections and reinforcements between these
Why was the nuclear option taken?

entrenched social structures is the reason why nuclear power is so hard to dislodge. In the early
1950s, nuclear power had not yet been shown to be technologically feasible, much less
economically viable. In 1952 the Paley Commission in the US favoured heavy investment in solar
technology as the energy option of the future. Despite such options, nuclear power was promoted

Nuclear power was originally promoted by states


rather than corporations or workers. Nuclear power was attractive to governments
and state bureaucracies for several reasons. Nuclear power, by virtue of its
large size, centralised production of electricity and
dependence on experts, was suitable for control by state
bureaucracies. Solar home heating, by comparison, did not lend
itself to such control. Nuclear power fitted neatly into the
existing electricity generation and distribution system . Like coal or
over solar power.

oil, it was a way of producing electricity at a central location for distribution through the
established grid. Unlike oil, where there are several commercial outlets to chose from, we can only

When that distributor is the


state - and most electricity grids are either state-owned or
have one distributor's power points in our houses.

state regulated - the consequence for communities is a


reduction of local control over their energy planning. The
potential risks of nuclear power - for example from meltdown accidents
at nuclear power plants - were too large to be taken by even the largest
corporations. US companies only joined nuclear power projects
after many subsidies and incentives were offered by the US state,
including the Price-Anderson Act in 1957 which limited corporate liability in the event of reactor
accidents. The pro-nuclear US Department of Energy estimated that in 1980 the US 'commercial'
nuclear-power industry had been subsidised to the tune of $US37,000 million. Anti-nuclear groups
have put the figure closer to $US100,000 million. For these reasons, nuclear power has been
largely state-developed, owned and promoted. Only in the US do corporations have much of an
independent role, and even there the industry is heavily regulated by the state. Most of those
countries with the greatest stake in nuclear power - United States, Japan, Soviet Union, France,
West Germany, Britain - are the most powerful economically. The state is not a unified entity. It
incorporates the elected government, the military, the police, the legal system, state
bureaucracies for regulating the economy and providing welfare services, and many other
functions. Only some of these parts of the state have been active in promoting nuclear power,
notably the energy bureaucracies, parts of the military and some politicians. An important
pressure within these areas has come from politically active nuclear scientists and engineers.
Nuclear weapons and nuclear power would not have been possible without the mobilisation of
scientific expertise for the purposes of the state. Especially since World War Two, an ever
increasing fraction of research and development finance has come from the state, and the
orientation of science and technology has been increasingly oriented to the requirements of large

This science-state interaction has given rise


to the technocrats, among whom the nuclear elites are
prominent. Nuclear power simultaneously provides a power
base for the nuclear elites while increasing state power. In
capitalist societies, the state is structurally tied to corporate
expansion and profit making. A key role of governments in capitalist countries is
corporations and the state.

maintaining the conditions necessary for corporate profit-making. Indeed, the state has intervened
in education and health, among other things, in order to ensure that capitalism is provided with a
continuing work force, that is, healthy workers with the right skills and attitudes. Similarly, the
state takes care of many of the other needs of capitalism, particularly subsidising the

large scale
'development' projects, such as nuclear power, can be seen as
a test of the state's commitment to key corporations and to
securing the conditions necessary for capitalist profitability .
Despite the intimate connections between the state and the corporate sector, there is also
a particular logic to capitalist investment. Projects which are
capital intensive, large scale, centralised and suitable for
monopolisation are favoured areas of corporate investment.
Thus promotion of energy efficiency, or of decentralised and
locally controlled energy sources, would do little for profits
and are thus ignored (or undermined) by corporate
management. Similarly, there has been little corporate interest in biological pest control
infrastructure (such as ports and rail lines) of large projects. In a way,

because it does not have readily monopolisable sources and cannot be easily oriented to a single
market consumer. In other words, profitability of this environmentally sound technology is minimal.

investment decisions in a capitalist society reflect this


preoccupation with profitability at the expense of social
usefulness and environmental harmony. When corporations are
confronted with the environmental pollution, concern for
profitability dictates that efforts will be made to merely clean
up the mess, rather than change the structures responsible for
the pollution. Underlying the immediate role of the state and
nuclear elites in promoting nuclear power are several deeper
factors. One is the hierarchy and division of labour
Ultimately,

characteristic of modern corporations and state bureaucracies.


Workers are kept under control by work organisation - such as the manufacturing division of labour
- in which key decisions are made by elites and in which shopfloor participation is minimised.

Technologies are often chosen or designed to enforce


hierarchical control in the workplace. Nuclear power fits this
pattern well. Other technologies besides nuclear power can be assessed according to
whether they lend themselves to centralised or decentralised control. For example, many simpler
weapons such as the rifle can be used either by soldiers or police on behalf of the state, or by
forces opposing the state such as guerrillas. In contrast, nuclear weapons are typical of modern
technological weapons: they require training and expertise to use and are generally inaccessible to
small groups. Like nuclear weapons, nuclear power as an energy source lends itself to centralised
control. In contrast, measures such as bicycle transport, passive solar design, solar heating, wind
power or biogas production lend themselves to local community control. An emphasis on nuclear
power must not obscure the fact that other energy technologies can also fulfil the same socially
destructive role that nuclear power plays. Even the much heralded solar energy has the potential
to be incorporated into these structures if it develops in certain ways. For example, one US
corporation has proposed a satellite solar power station which would orbit the earth and beam
down massive amounts of microwave radiation to be collected by a seven kilometre wide receiver
on the earth's surface. Clearly a campaign which effectively does away with nuclear power does not
automatically do away with centralised systems of political and economic control. The key
distinction between technologies is not whether they are solar, fossil or nuclear, but whether they
lend themselves to control by political and economic elites or to control by individuals and local
communities. Scientific research on nuclear power also illustrates the effects of this division of

The isolation of social control and responsibility and


concern in the hands of political elites, together with the
structure of the scientific community, act together to produce
a system which keeps scientists locked into socially
destructive research. Science is not value-free. Politically
determined goals, like winning a real-war or cold-war situation, can
conveniently smother irksome consciences. At the same time, the
labour.

intellectual challenges which scientific research presents provide a strong driving force for the

scientists can work on weapons


of mass destruction because the political decisions regarding
these weapons are made at a distance, in an apparently
legitimate forum. Such scientists may not consider that they
have the right or expertise to question the political
consequences of their work. It is this intellectual division of labour which focusses
commitment of individual scientists. Thus some

scientists' attention and their energies upon research problems which are divorced from their

Most scientists are ominously silent about the


political side of the nuclear fuel cycle, particularly the undermining of civil
liberties 'necessary' to safeguard nuclear power. Patriarchy - the collective domination of
men over women - and other major social structures such as the state
and capitalism mutually reinforce one another. It is important here to
social consequences.

differentiate between masculinity, which is socially constructed, and maleness, which has a genetic
base. Most men exhibit culturally specific masculine behaviour and this behaviour is often

Within state
bureaucracies, corporations and the scientific community,
women are discriminated against through job and career
structures which concentrate men into the most powerful
positions. Commonly, to gain entry to these positions, women themselves are forced to adopt
expressed as domination of women and the environment.

a 'masculine approach'. It is at this level of power that masculine values emerge such as careerism,
competitiveness, aggressiveness, the separation of tasks from emotion, and patterns of
dominance. These values foster inequalities between people, thereby further concentrating power
into the hands of an elite and forming the basis of exploitation of other people and nature. Nuclear
weapons for example are a product of aggression and dominance relations as opposed to the more
feminine values of nurturing and caring. Indeed it would be difficult to imagine the development of

the
state and corporations mobilise patriarchal relations to serve
nuclear weapons in a society where feminine values predominated. On the one hand,

their own domination, for example to split the workforce and


impose hierarchical relations between men as well as between
men and women. On the other band, groups of men mobilise state and capitalist interests
to maintain their domination over women, for example using job seniority rules and the legal

The intellectual division


of labour, and the concept of professionalism which is used to justify it, also are
associated with deeply rooted masculine values. For example, the way
system to keep women in lesser occupations or the home.

in which the scientific community is structured, particularly the impetus to continually publish

many
of the characteristics of modern science can be grouped under
the heading of 'masculine rationality'. This rationality sets up a
dualism between society and nature, production and
reproduction, the intellect and the emotions, and the technical
and the political. 1. Nature, which in the traditional metaphor is
seen as feminine, is regarded by masculine rationality as
merely a resource to be exploited or an enemy to be subjugated by society. 2.
Masculine elevation of the realm of production as the most
worthwhile area of life reflects the dominant presence men
have in this realm. At the same time the realm of reproduction is denigrated and so this
ahead of rivals, promotes intellectual aggressiveness and competitiveness. In addition

area which women have traditionally dominated is denied status. Yet production and reproduction
are both essential for a society's survival. The failure of masculine rationality to recognise the
value of both production and reproduction rules out the possibility of a harmonious balance
between current needs and long-term survival. Not surprisingly, this is the same balance which the
existence of nuclear weapons undermines. 3. Masculine rationality also endorses the separation of
the intellect and the emotions - the intellect being seen as superior - and the idea of emotional
neutrality towards objects of study. When ordinary people become actively concerned about
nuclear power, this style of rationality characterises them as emotional and ill-informed in contrast
to the experts who it depicts as involved in 'responsible, objective, scientific endeavour'. Thus too
scientists are encouraged to remain detached from the social consequences of their work. 4.

Masculine rationality also connects with the sharp division


between the realm of ends and that of means. This is reflected
in turn in the separation of the technical and the political, and
of the technical dimensions of a problem from its political
ramifications. The separation is visible in the current division of labour. For example, it is
necessary to have nuclear physicists, nuclear engineers, plant
technicians and construction workers in order to conceive,
design and build a nuclear power plant. However, these people
are not required to consider the social and political
consequences of their work; these 'goal' aspects are 'taken
care of' by politicians. The dominant political system makes
social responsibility and the determination of ends, which should be
everyone's concern, the concern of a specialised few . This type of separation
between the technical and the political is especially evident in dominant ways of organising work

Domination of nature is another fundamental


factor underlying state promotion of nuclear power. Modern
industrialisation, science and technology are based on
subjugating the environment, on extracting resources for
human requirements. The orientation is one of exploitation for
short-term use rather than harmony and understanding.
Domination of nature, of women and of workers are all aspects
of modern structures which maintain hierarchy and inequality
and which serve the interests of elites. Nuclear power is one
such as in bureaucracies.

component of this system. To oppose nuclear power effectively


requires addressing the structures in which it is embedded.

This view of nuclear power as a quick fix depoliticizes the


global economy and energy system perpetuating massive
inequality. Maciejewska and Marszalek 11 Professor at Wroclaw Unitersity
(Malgorzata, institute of Sociology and Faculty of Social Sciences at Wroclaw University, and Marcin,
Wroclaw University (Poland), Lack of power or lack of democracy: the case of the projected nuclear power
plant in Poland, Economic and Environmental Studies Vol. 11, No.3 (19/2011), 235-248, Sept. 2011)

mainstream discourse on nuclear power rarely takes up the


question of how the global energy industry is organized . In the
modern economy the production of energy around the world, which is supposed to
be a kind of public good and to guarantee sustainable development, is planned and
arranged under free market conditions. As a part of the global chain of extraction,
production and trading, it is subordinated to the neoliberal logic on
terms of which the society and economy is governed as a
business enterprise with the logic of maximum interest and minimum loss. This
imposes on different actors (from the international corporations to individual
households) the discipline of competitiveness and profitability ,
resulting in the growth of existing inequalities as the invisible
hand of the free market economy legitimizes those subjects
which are already in power. The modern global economy is
based on irrational production and social inequalities where one can
The

observe the processes of work intensification and the cheapening of labor. The markets are
dominated by the unproductive virtual economy (See Peterson, 2002) where the major players
are the financial institutions which, by means of sophisticated financial tools, buy and sell virtual
products (currencies, stocks, insurances, debts and its derivatives). In effect, the major actors in
the capitalist economy are the international investors who have the capability of financial
liquidity, and operate with those sophisticated financial tools on the global stock market. Even
when they lose those capacities because of indebtedness, the states and international
organizations seem often to be willing to repair the damage by transferring the taxes paid by
citizens. (This is actually happening now, during the financial crisis, when southern and western
European countries are subjected to shock therapy under which governments introduce austerity

The praxis of nuclear power producers and the


discourse which legitimizes it is therefore reduced to one goal
increasing financial revenues. The Polish plan to build the atomic power plant
measures.)

seems to be another element of the competitiveness strategy. In the authorities mind set it could
put Poland into the position of more a competitive, more dynamic economy, as expected by the
European Union and international organizations such as the International Monetary Fund or the

The welfare of Polands or Nigers society does not fit


into that picture. The nuclear establishment does not take into
account the most important aspect of sustainable
development: the overall reduction of energy consumption and
therefore of energy production. Such a policy could bring a
wide range of profits to the societies, the ecosystem, as well
as the economy. On the contrary, the increase of power
production and power use is one of the core concepts of proatomic discourse. This dogmatic belief draws the ideological
line indicated at the beginning: the question of energy use and
the ideas for solving this problem are seen only as a matter of
technological challenges and the amount of financial and
World Bank.

material means which have to be invested in them, but not as


an effort to re-organize and restructure the modern economy.

Part 3 is the Advocacy


Plan Text: All countries ought to prohibit the production of
nuclear power. Countries that currently produce power from
nuclear reactors will immediately begin phasing out all nuclear
power. Lucas 12
Caroline Lucas [an British politician, and since 2 September 2016, Co-Leader of the Green
Party of England and Wales], 2-17-2012, "Why we must phase out nuclear power," Guardian,
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2012/feb/17/phase-out-nuclear-power MG
The inherent risk in the use of nuclear energy, as well as the related proliferation of nuclear technologies, can and does have

. The only certain way to eliminate this potentially devastating


risk is to phase out nuclear power altogether . Some countries appear
to have learnt this lesson. In Germany, the government changed course in
the aftermath of Fukushima and decided to go ahead with a previously agreed phase out of
nuclear power. Many scenarios now foresee Germany sourcing
100% of its power needs from renewables by 2030. Meanwhile Italian
citizens voted against plans to go nuclear with a 90% majority. The same is not yet true in Japan. Although only three out
disastrous consequences

of its 54 nuclear reactors are online and generating power, while the Japanese authorities conduct "stress tests", the government
hopes to reopen almost all of these and prolong the working life of a number of its ageing reactors by to up to 60 years. The

Opinion polls consistently show a


strong majority of the population is now against nuclear power.
Local grassroots movements opposing nuclear power have
been springing up across Japan. Mayors and governors in fear
of losing their power tend to follow the majority of their
citizens.
Japanese public have made their opposition clear however.

Voting affirmative endorses a social critique of nuclear power. Only


instrumental reform to the energy system can effectively spill over
to broader systemic problems without being coopted. Martin et. Al, 84
(The main authors are Jill Bowling, Brian Martin, Val Plumwood and Ian Watson, with important
contributions from Ray Kent, Basil Schur and Rosemary Walters. Strategy against nuclear power
http://www.bmartin.cc/pubs/86sa.html)

A strategy links the analysis of an issue with


goals and objectives. Having chosen a strategy, it is
implemented through appropriate actions. An action is a 'onceoff' event such as a rally, march, blockade or lobbying a
particular politician. A method, such as lobbying in general,
refers to all actions of a certain type. Actions are coordinated
together into a campaign. The campaign gives direction to a
series of events. Given our analysis in section 1 of the structural
forces responsible for the nuclear fuel cycle, the goal of
stopping uranium mining must be closely linked to the goal of
basic structural change in the state, capitalism, patriarchy and
the division of labour. As such it must involve challenges to the
structures which underlie nuclear concerns. The broader
What is a strategy anyway?

objectives for an anti-nuclear movement must include


encouraging mass participation in decision making rather than
elite control, decentralising the distribution of political power
into smaller, local groups, and bringing about self-reliance
based on environmentally sound technologies. These objectives
involve fundamental changes to the way our society is
organised at present. In effect, an anti-nuclear strategy must involve
both actions aimed at stopping nuclear power and activities
which challenge existing structures and help construct viable
alternatives. In this context, the success or failure of an individual
campaign must be viewed from the perspective of working
towards these overall goals and objectives. The actions used by the
anti-uranium movement fall into two main categories. Firstly there are actions
which aim at convincing or influencing elites, such as lobbying
or writing letters to politicians. Secondly are the actions such as rallies and
blockades which usually involve more participation from the
community. While such actions may be aimed at elites they are also important in educating or giving support to those
who are involved. Lobbying. Lobbying is a direct attempt to convince or
pressure elite decision-makers. It does nothing to challenge
the state, patriarchy or other structures underlying nuclear
power, but rather hopes to oppose nuclear power by 'working
through the proper channels'. This leaves elite structures
unchallenged and intact. Indeed lobbying is a form of political
action most suited to powerful interest groups such as
corporations and professional bodies. The state is the forum of the powerful, so for these kinds of groups lobbying
often is an effective strategy. For small activist groups lobbying is useful only if it appears to be backed up by politically visible
mass concern or mass action. In 1983, after the election of a Labor Government, the anti-uranium movement turned strongly to
lobbying in an attempt to induce the Labor Caucus to implement the Labor Party platform. This effort was unsuccessful.
Participating in environmental inquiries. In making submissions to the Ranger Inquiry, environmental groups made a concerted
attempt to ensure that the issue of the Ranger mine was not divorced from the general issue of uranium mining and nuclear
power, and that ultimate decisions were determined by the public rather than 'experts'. The Inquiry did in fact analyse the overall
dangers of the nuclear industry and concluded that no decision on uranium mining should occur without public debate. These
results helped fuel the ensuing widespread public debate on uranium mining in Australia. One reason for involvement in
environmental inquiries is to challenge the role of experts in service to vested interests. The Ranger Inquiry commented on the
bias of distinguished scientists who testified in favour of uranium mining. The Ranger Inquiry was unusual in making full use of
broad terms of reference. Many environmental inquiries have institutional constraints which can make it questionable whether
activists should spend much energy in that area. Many government inquiries with severely limited terms of reference offer few
opportunities for activists to intervene effectively. There is not only the danger of being 'co-opted' if activists take part, but also the
prospect that any structural challenges may be deflected by superficial concessions. Often such inquiries are not genuine and are
only set up as window-dressing. For example, the Australian Science and Technology Council inquiry set up in November 1983 to
investigate Australia's role in the nuclear fuel cycle has terms of reference which assume the continuation of uranium mining.
Working through the trade union movement. In 1976 anti-uranium groups began a major effort to persuade trade unions and their
Congress delegates to adopt and support anti-uranium policies. The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) Congress adopted
an anti-uranium policy in mid-1977. Following the re-election of the Liberal-National Government in December 1977, anti-uranium
groups focussed on persuading unions to implement the ACTU policy. However, the members of a number of unions - including
some with anti-uranium policies - continued to work in the uranium industry. Some union leaders chose not to attempt to convince
members to avoid or leave the industry, while other leaders supportive of the policies could not persuade members working in the
industry or transporting its products. The efforts within the trade union movement have been strong to the extent that they have
mobilised rank-and-file action. One of the most valiant efforts to stop uranium mining was by the Waterside Workers Federation supported by the Seamen's Union and the Transport Workers Union - in refusing to load yellowcake for export from Darwin in late
1981. This direct action - an obvious challenge to the power of corporations and the state - was only called off when deregistration
threats from the Liberal-National Government induced the ACTU to back down. Efforts through the trade unions have been least
effective when they have depended on action only by union elites. An ACTU policy against uranium mining is not enough: it does
not in itself challenge any of the driving forces behind nuclear power. When Bob Hawke was President of the ACTU, the executive
showed itself disinclined to mount even a strong publicity campaign against the uranium mining industry. Working through the
parliamentary system. Since 1976 a major focus of the anti-nuclear power movement has been the ALP. A massive campaign of
publicising and discussing the issue at the party branch level resulted in an anti-uranium platform being adopted in mid-1977.
Since that time there has been strong anti-uranium feeling within the party. In late 1977 the focus of the anti-uranium movement
became the federal election campaign. During this campaign the anti-uranium movement used the resources of local anti-uranium
groups to help the ALP in marginal House of Representatives electorates and for the Australian Democrats in the Senate. Many
anti-uranium activists pinned their hopes on a Labor victory. But the Liberal-National coalition won the election, and the antiuranium campaign appeared to have little impact in marginal electorates. After this defeat, many activists left the movement while
a number of local groups effectively ceased to exist. The danger in relying too much on anti-uranium action by a Labor
Government was demonstrated in mid-1982 when the Labor anti-uranium platform was watered down on the initiative of party
power brokers in spite of continuing support for the platform at the party branch level. The danger was further demonstrated in
November 1983 when Labor Caucus, at the initiative of Cabinet, gave the go-ahead for Roxby Downs, potentially the largest

uranium mine in the world. In each case the impetus to maintain the anti-uranium policy came from the grassroots of the party,

Any Australian government, whether Labor or not, is


strongly tied to the established state apparatus and to the
support of capitalism. It is futile to expect the government on
its own - whatever its platform may be - to readily oppose aspects of the
nuclear fuel cycle. This will occur only when there is strong and
continual pressure from the grassroots of the party and from
the community at large. Grassroots mobilisation. The anti-uranium movement has used a wide variety of
while it was labour elites who pushed pro-mining stances.

methods to inform and involve the community. Commonly used methods include leaflet distribution, articles, talks, discussions,
films, petitions, rallies, marches, vigils and street theatre. Major anti-uranium rallies and marches were held each year in most
large cities, especially in the peak years of the uranium debate, 1976-1979 and again since 1983. A typical grassroots activity has
been the creation of nuclear-free zones, which is mainly a symbolic action which helps raise awareness and encourage local groups
to openly oppose nuclear power. This activity has worked closely with the dissemination of information through the media, local
groups, the alternative press and schools. In 1983 the people in the Bega Valley Shire voted to declare their area a nuclear-free
zone. To counter this popular sentiment, the Shire Council called in nuclear experts in order to argue the case against the nuclearfree zone. In this case the nuclear-free zone campaign provided a channel for exposing and challenging the role of nuclear
expertise and elites in promoting nuclear power. Civil disobedience has also been used by the anti-nuclear movement. In the late
1970s, nonviolent direct action was used on several occasions at ports where uranium was being loaded for export. At the Roxby
Downs blockade in August 1983, several hundred people gathered to express their opposition and hinder mining operations. Two
distinctive features of this protest were the use of nonviolent action and the way in which participants formed themselves into
affinity groups. These are a form of political organising which is consciously anti-elitist and aims to democratise all group
interactions. Education, rallies, marches, petitions and civil disobedience sometimes do little to challenge the structures underlying
nuclear power. For example, the rally outside Parliament House in October 1983 was primarily aimed at putting pressure on the
Labor Party at a time when it was considering its uranium policy. Similarly, the 'tent embassy' located on Parliament House lawns
aimed to prick the conscience of the ALP. One of the aims of the Roxby Downs blockade was to mobilise pressure to influence the
ALP. On the other hand, grassroots mobilisation often provides a potent challenge to nuclear power and the forces behind it. All the
lasting successes of Australian anti-uranium campaigns have depended ultimately on grassroots mobilisation, which provides a
reservoir of commitment and concern which elite-oriented activities do not. In 1975, the virtue of mining uranium was largely
unquestioned among the general public and the labour movement. It was simply unthinkable that a mineral which could be
profitably sold would be left in the ground. Yet by 1977 the anti-uranium view had become widely understood and strongly
supported. This change in opinion happened largely through the educational and organising efforts of the local anti-uranium
groups and of anti-uranium activists within organisations such as trade unions, schools and churches. The resurgence of antiuranium activity in 1983 owed much to the framework established in the late 1970s. The anti-uranium platform adopted by the
ALP in 1977 was the result of organising and education at the party branch level. ALP stands and action against uranium mining
have come consistently from the party grassroots, and this in turn has depended on anti-uranium sentiment in the general
community. Support for uranium mining within the ALP has always been strongest on the part of party elites. The anti-uranium
stands and actions by Australian trade unions have been stronger than in any other country in the world. Building on a tradition of
trade union action on social issues, this has come about from persistent grassroots education and organising at the shop floor
level. It has been the rank-and-file unionists who have taken the strongest anti-uranium stands, and the trade union elites who
have backed away from opposition. When in late 1981 the Seamen's Union refused to load yellowcake in Darwin, it was the rankand-file workers who took a stand and made the sacrifices. Does grassroots mobilisation then provide the most fruitful avenue for
challenging the structures behind nuclear power? Yes, but the choice of methods is not straightforward or automatic. The problem
with many grassroots methods used by the anti-uranium movement is that they have not been systematically organised and
focussed as part of an overall long-term strategy. Instead, individual groups - and indeed the national movement - has often just
looked ahead to the next rally, the next signature drive, or the next ALP Conference. While this approach does have some merit for
example in saving an area from irreversible environmental destruction, it is inadequate as an approach to stopping mining or
transforming the structures underlying nuclear power. For example the closing of Roxby mine would prevent the destruction of the
surrounding ecosystem including mound springs inhabited by forms of aquatic life found nowhere else in the world. If the
environment is altered, these unique creatures will be gone forever. However, the closing of Roxby in isolation would do nothing to
prevent mining companies from setting up or increasing production in other places. If, on the other hand, existing power structures
were challenged, and the closing of Roxby were carried out in conjunction with the closing of all uranium mines and a disbanding
of uranium interests, then the safety of these ecosystems would be assured. What needs to be done is to focus on vulnerable
points within the structures promoting nuclear power, and to devote efforts in these areas. What are the vulnerable points, then?

Nuclear power is
a large-scale vulnerable point in the structures of the state,
capitalism and so forth. In promoting nuclear power, and
thereby entrenching centralised political and economic power,
other consequences result which mobilise people in opposition:
environmental effects (especially radioactive waste), the connection with
nuclear weapons, threats to Aboriginal land rights, threats to
civil liberties, and many others. In organising to oppose these
specific threats, people at the same time can challenge the
driving forces behind nuclear power. Here are a few of the specific vulnerable points which
Before looking at specific vulnerable points, let's examine the nuclear power issue as a whole.

have been addressed by the anti-uranium movement. Threats to Aborigines. Nuclear power is alleged to be beneficial, but uranium
mining is a severe cultural threat to Aborigines, who are already a strongly oppressed group in Australia. The anti-uranium
movement and the Aboriginal land rights movements have been strengthened by joint actions, such as speaking tours. Centralised
decision-making. Nuclear power has widespread social effects, but promoters of nuclear power claim the decisions must be taken
by political and scientific elites. This runs counter to the rhetoric of Western democracies where ordinary people are meant to have
a say in political decision-making. By moving in on this embarrassing contradiction, protests which demand a role for the public in
decision-making about energy also challenge political elites and the political use of expertise. Capitalism and workers. Nuclear
power is alleged to be good for the economy and for workers, but in practice massive state subsidies to the industry are the rule,
and few jobs are produced for the capital invested. In challenging nuclear power as an inappropriate direction for economic
investment, a challenge is made to the setting of economic priorities by corporations and the state. Capitalism also directs

investments only into profitable areas, irrespective of their social benefits. If activists can undermine the profitability of marginal
enterprises by delaying tactics or by jeopardising state subsidies, then capitalist investment can be shunted away from socially
destructive areas. For example, direct actions against Roxby Downs could in the long run undermine its profitability and cause its
closure. Grassroots mobilisation is usually the most effective way to intervene at vulnerable points such as these. A suitable
combination of interventions then forms the basis for a strategy against uranium mining. But how can uranium mining actually be
stopped? This is a good question. Grassroots mobilisation does not by itself stop uranium mining. The mobilisation must connect
with major forces in society. There are several ways this can occur. Uranium mining could be stopped: (1) by direct decision of the
government; (2) by the unions acting directly through strikes or bans to prevent uranium mining, export, or construction of nuclear
plants; (3) through cost escalations, for example resulting from requirements to ensure safety or environmental protection, (4) by
a referendum whose results were adhered to; (5) by legal action on the part of aborigines or anti-uranium forces; (6) by direct
action to physically stop mining from proceeding. A critical element necessary to the success of any of these methods is the
mobilisation of a large section of the public against uranium mining. Thus for example government action to stop mining would be
likely to take place only if there were mass mobilisation on the issue. Similarly 'direct action' could only succeed if popular support
were so great that the government refused to use sufficient force to physically overcome the resisters. To give an idea of how
grassroots methods could be coordinated into a strategy to stop uranium mining, consider a hypothetical example. Suppose an
analysis of the current political situation suggested that direct action by workers and unions gave the most immediate promise for
directly stopping uranium mining, while government decision and cost escalations were also likely avenues for stopping mining. A
grassroots strategy might include the following: Systematic community organising and education, to provide a basis in popular
sympathy and support for direct action by workers. Points to be emphasised would include the right of workers to take direct
action on conscience issues as well as work-related issues, and the importance of questioning decisions made solely on the basis
of corporate profitability or state encouragement of large-scale economic investment. Development of alternative plans for
investment and jobs based on input from workers and communities, and widespread dissemination of the ideas and rationale for
the alternative plans. A series of rallies, marches, vigils and civil disobedience, aimed at both mobilising people and illustrating the
strength of anti-uranium feeling. These actions would be coordinated towards major points for possible worker intervention, such
as trade union conferences or the start of work for new mines. Through consultation with unions, workers and working-class
families, the establishment of support groups and funds for workers and unions penalised for direct action against uranium mining.
Plans to make parallel challenges to those by workers, such as simultaneous defiance of the Atomic Energy Act by trade unionists
and community activists. Black bans of corporations or state instrumentalities by unionists could be coordinated with boycotts
organised by community groups. With such a strategy, it is likely that the workers taking action would come under strong attacks
from both corporations and the government. Preparation to oppose such attacks would depend on community mobilisation to
demonstrate support for the workers in the media, in the streets, through informal communication channels and to the workers
themselves. If direct action by workers began to be sustained through community support, it is quite possible that other channels
for stopping uranium mining could come into play: the government - especially a Labor government - might back away from
confrontation with unions supported by the community, or corporations might decide investment in this controversial area was too
risky. Plans would be required to continue the campaign towards these or other avenues for stopping uranium mining. How does
grassroots mobilisation provide a challenge to the structures underlying nuclear power? It challenges the division of labour and the
role of elites, especially the role of political elites which have a corner on the exercise of social responsibility, by mobilising in a
widespread way the social concern of ordinary people and by demonstrating the direct exercise of this concern for example by
groups in the workplace. Grassroots mobilisation challenges the division of labour and the role of scientific elites through a
challenge to the prestige and credibility of scientists who advocate nuclear power. As the nuclear power issue has been widely
debated, it has become obvious to many people that the expertise of pro-nuclear scientists and engineers is tied to vested
interests. The nuclear debate has greatly weakened the belief that 'the experts know best'. Grassroots mobilisation challenges the
masculine rationality of dominant structures through calling contemporary values and attitudes to nature and to the future into
question. Within the antinuclear movement, patriarchy has been challenged as at least some groups have addressed domination
by men and developed egalitarian modes of interaction and decision-making. This sometimes has been fostered by nonviolent
action training used to prepare for civil disobedience actions. The anti-nuclear movement has inevitably involved questioning the
growth of energy use and development of programmes for a 'soft energy future' involving energy efficiency, renewable energy
sources, and redesign of communities to reduce energy requirements. The challenge to unending energy growth is a direct
challenge to the state and capitalism, whose power is tied to traditional economic expansion. Mass mobilisation against uranium
also challenges capitalism by bringing under scrutiny the rationale of pursuing profitability at the expense of social responsibility
and by direct economic blows to corporate profitability. More fundamentally, nuclear power represents a potential new stage in the
entrenchment of centralised political and economic control and of specialist knowledge in the service of elites. By challenging the
political and economic rationale for nuclear power, and by making demands for local control over energy decision-making, a direct
challenge is made to the power of the state and corporations. It is important to realise that none of these challenges on their own
are likely to bring down these structures however much they may weaken them. Sufficiently many blows however over a sustained
period could do so. Thus campaigns on the nuclear issue could begin or be part of a process of sustained challenge which could

strategy against nuclear power and uranium mining


can be seen as a 'non-reformist reform': namely, it can achieve
effective change within the system in a way which weakens
rather than strengthens dominant structures, or which helps to
prevent the entrenchment of new, more powerful structures.
Such a strategy does not simply attempt to bypass the 'macro'
level of existing structures in the way that some focusses on
alternatives do, such as promoting changes in lifestyles only at
the level of the individual. Rather such a strategy aims at
interactions with existing structures in a way which goes
beyond them.
weaken them irreversibly. A grassroots

Rejecting nuclear power opens up the potential for a more


decentralized grid it also makes renewables more effective
because the nuclear industry no longer blocks them. Lydersen
15
Kari Lydersen writes for publications including The Washington Post, In These Times, Punk Planet and LiP magazine and is a youth journalism
instructor based in Chicago. Why the nuclear industry targets renewables instead of gas. Midwest Energy News. 02/06/2015.
http://midwestenergynews.com/2015/02/06/why-the-nuclear-industry-targets-renewables-instead-of-gas/ JJN
Why attack renewables? The advent of horizontal hydraulic fracturing (fracking) about a decade ago provided an abundant fuel for
natural gas plants which can quickly ratchet up and down to match demand. Cheap natural gas has driven the closing of scores of

So why isnt the nuclear


industry trying to curb the influence of natural gas? Energy
experts point to straightforward political and business reasons
and the complicated structure of the auctions where energy is
sold. The fact of the matter is natural gas and wind power both compete with Exelons
nuclear generation, said Environmental Law & Policy Center director Howard Learner. Exelon cant do
anything about the market price for natural gas, so Exelon is
training its fire on trying to stop and hold off wind power and
solar energy development. Some companies that own nuclear
generation are also heavily invested in natural gas. Nuclear
makes up 81 percent of Exelons generation and 54 percent of
its capacity, while natural gas makes up 10 percent of its
generation and 22 percent of its capacity. Wind and solar make
up 1.9 and 0.3 percent of Exelons generation, respectively. One
coal plants nationwide, and has had a major impact on the nuclear industry.

thing to understand about the nuclear industry is that nuclear is also the coal and natural gas industry, said Tim Judson, executive
director of the Nuclear Information and Resource Service, which published the September 2014 report Killing the Competition
about nuclear attacks on renewables. Wind and efficiency are just boutique elements of their portfolios. Nuclear Energy Institute
spokesman Thomas Kauffman said that the institute does not take a position on renewable energy subsidies and that it, supports
the Obama administrations all-of-the-above energy strategy. He declined to answer further questions and said that groups
weighing in about recent developments have a history of opposing nuclear power. Colafella and Young of FirstEnergy said we
believe that a diverse mix of generating assets, including renewables, is needed to keep power flowing reliably and affordably.
Low market prices which are largely driven by low-cost natural gas, not renewables are putting pressure on baseload
generating plants that reliably deliver power to our customers around the clock, they added. But, they reiterated they expect
prices to rise, reviving the nuclear plants profits. Auction action Nuclear energy and wind power are both known as price-takers
in the regional auctions where generators sell their energy. In these auctions, all sellers get the same price for energy sold at a

.
Nuclear plants and wind turbines both generate energy very
cheaply, even though the overall costs of maintaining and
running a nuclear plant are high. Before the fracking revolution, natural gas-fired power was
given time. They are all paid the price of the most expensive bid that is accepted into the auction to meet demand

typically much more expensive than other sources, so nuclear and coal generators would enjoy getting paid at the same rate as

natural gas-fired power is cheap, but wind is even


cheaper. So a lot of wind on the market not only edges out other
energy sources in the auction, it also can lower the price that all
players are paid for their energy. The nuclear industry is
striking back at wind in a specific type of market known as capacity, where energy providers are essentially paid for
natural gas. These days

promising to be ready to provide energy at peak times. The PJM regional market has adopted changes that greatly increase the
capacity payments that Exelons nuclear plants will receive, while making it extremely difficult for wind and solar to benefit from
these payments. Exelon lobbied hard for the changes, which must still be approved by federal regulators.

Paradigm

shift Nuclear companies also appear to oppose the


proliferation of distributed solar and other renewable
generation for the same reasons that apparently motivate
utility companies like We Energies in Wisconsin. Even if
renewables make up only a small amount of generation, they
represent a shift to a more decentralized energy system, less
reliant on big baseload coal or nuclear power plants. While
Exelons unregulated generation arm runs the nuclear plants in

Illinois, Exelon is also a regulated utility in the process of


acquiring Washington D.C.-area Pepco Holdings, which would make it the
countrys largest utility. It goes back to the concept of maintaining the old
model of utilities as long as possible because you have control,
as opposed to something out of their control like solar panels
on rooftops, said Dave Kraft, director of the Nuclear Energy Information Service. Ongoing
improvements to the grid, including new transmission and
increased grid storage, also pose a challenge to centralized
power. When it gets easier to move electricity around or to store
it on the grid, energy generated by the sun and wind can be
better used when and where it is needed. Scared by solar? Exelon runs a 10 MW solar
farm on Chicagos South Side. But critics say this does not make the company a friend of solar. In different jurisdictions

Exelon has argued that people with solar panels should not be
paid the retail rate for energy they send back to the grid. This
same position has been taken by utilities around the country
looking to curb distributed solar generation; in most cases it has met with
strong opposition from both the public and regulators. Exelons stance on solar has stoked resistance to the
companys proposed merger with Pepco. Exelon spokesman Paul Adams said, As technology continues to evolve, it is important
that we maintain a reliable, secure and universally available electric grid and ensure that energy policies do not permit shifting the
costs of maintaining the grid from some customers to others, creating energy haves and have nots. This is the same argument
that We Energies has made in its highly controversial rate case in Wisconsin. Makhijani called Exelons point disingenuous,
especially since the changes Exelon pushed in the capacity market will likely increase Illinois customers rates 11 percent or more.
Its crocodile tears, the crocodile feeling very sorry for this deer it just caught, Makhijani said. Suddenly theres this huge
concern for the poor. Louisiana-based Entergy has also promoted policies that pay low rates to customers with solar panels for
the energy they send back to the grid. Entergy has nuclear plants that sell their power on the open market as well as regulated
nuclear plants where the company is guaranteed to recoup its costs from ratepayers. Fighting over subsidies Nuclear proponents
have long depicted tax breaks for wind and other renewables as unfair and a threat to reliability. In 2012 Exelon was expelled from
the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) and its board, because of Exelons aggressive lobbying to end the federal
Production Tax Credit which provided tax breaks crucial for wind development. It was simply a fact that they no longer supported
the aims of promoting wind power, said AWEA spokesman Peter Kelley. They were marshaling allies, teaming up with anti-wind

cheap natural gas prices


have had a much more profound impact than wind on the
viability of nuclear plants. You have to ignore the real reasons and exaggerate a few outlier moments
organizations that have always been against wind energy. Kelley said that

when wind had any impact on their business at all, to be convinced by Exelons arguments, Kelley said. Theyre ignoring the real
reasons and blaming wind because they may think its [politically] expedient. Adams said the Exelon believes the transition to
clean energy should be left to the free market, rather than through the government picking technology winners and losers through
tax subsidies. We believe that the wind PTC has served its purpose and oppose its reinstatement. Exelon had argued that the
Production Tax Credit was causing a phenomenon known as negative pricing when power from its nuclear plants could not be
delivered where it was wanted. In March 2014 AWEA released a study criticizing Exelon for what it called exaggerations and
distortions on that issue. AWEA said negative pricing was rare, was caused more by congestion on power lines and other factors

the nuclear industry


was built on government subsidies and continues to be heavily
subsidized. A 2011 report by the Union of Concerned Scientists describes a host of past and ongoing nuclear
than by wind, and had nothing to do directly with the tax credit. Critics point out that

subsidies related to construction, operation, insurance, waste management and uranium mining. Its the throwing stones from
glass houses problem, said Makhijani. They have more glass in their house than any other industry. Clean power plans Nuclear
plants could benefit substantially from the clean power plans that states are developing in keeping with the Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA)s rules on reducing carbon emissions from power plants. Much depends on how the final EPA rules play
out and how states decide to achieve their required reductions. The Nuclear Energy Institute wrote a letter in December to EPA
Administrator Gina McCarthy asking the EPA to treat avoided carbon emissions from existing nuclear plants the same way that
reduced emissions are treated. And it noted that the EPAs calculations show that per ton of carbon avoided, nuclear plants are
cheaper than creating new sources of renewable energy. Renewable energy, nuclear energy and hydro receive vastly different
treatment under the proposed [EPA] rule, but nuclear energy does not receive appropriate credit, says the letter.
Environmentalists say that rewarding existing nuclear plants for their zero-carbon power is not in the spirit of the EPA rules.
Exelon has talked about redefining clean energy to include nuclear plants that produce large amounts of highly radioactive
waste, said Learner. That too-clever definition is simply not credible with the public. To redefine clean energy to include nuclear
power really doesnt pass the straight-face test.

Nuclear and renewables directly trade off nuclear caps progress on renewables. Main 15 JD
Ivy Main JD 11/12/15 [Sierra Club, Power for the People VA: The Virginia Energy Blog, Ivy Main Freelance]
Nuking clean energy: how nuclear power makes wind and solar harder

Dominion Resources CEO Tom Farrell is famously bullish on nuclear energy as a clean solution in a carbon-constrained economy,

Nuclear is a barrier to a clean-energy future, not a piece of it.


because new nuclear is so expensive that theres little
room left in a utility budget to build wind and solar. A more fundamental problem is that when
nuclear is part of the energy mix, high levels of wind and solar
become harder to achieve. To understand why, consider the typical demand curve for electricity in the
but hes got it wrong.
Thats only partly

Mid-Atlantic, including Virginia. Demand can be almost twice as high at 5 p.m. as it is at 5 a.m., especially on a hot summer day

The supply of electricity delivered by the grid at


any moment has to exactly match the demand: no more and no
less. More than any other kind of generating plant, though, the standard nuclear reactor is
inflexible in its output. It generates the same amount of
electricity day in and day out. This means nuclear cant be
used to supply more than the minimum demand level, known
as baseload. In the absence of energy storage, other fuel sources that can be
ramped up or down as needed have to fill in above baseload.
Wind and solar have the opposite problem: instead of producing the same amount of
electricity 24/7, their output varies with the weather and time of day . If
with air conditioners running.

you build a lot of wind turbines and want to use all the electricity they generate (much of it at night), some of it will compete to

Although solar panels produce during daylight when


demand is higher, if you build enough solar you will eventually
have to cut back on your baseload sources, too. With enough energy storage,
supply the baseload.

of course, baseload generating sources can be made flexible, and wind and solar made firm. Storage adds to cost and
environmental footprint, though, so it is not a panacea. That said, Virginia is lucky enough to have one of the largest pumped
storage facilities in the country, located in Bath County. Currently Dominion uses its 1,800 MW share of the facility as a relatively
low-cost way to meet some peak demand with baseload sources like coal and nuclear, but it could as easily be used to store

Without a lot of storage, its much


harder to keep wind and solar from competing with nuclear or
other baseload sources. You could curtail production of your
wind turbines or solar panels, but since these have no fuel
cost, youd be throwing away free energy. Once youve built
wind farms and solar projects, it makes no sense not to use all
the electricity they can produce. But if nuclear hogs the
baseload, by definition there will be times when there is no
load left for other sources to meet. Those times will often be at night, when wind turbines
electricity from wind and solar, at the same added cost.

produce the most electricity. The problem of nuclear competing with wind and solar has gotten little or no attention in the U.S.,
where renewables still make up only a small fraction of most states energy mixes. However, at an October 27 workshop about
Germanys experience with large-scale integration of renewable energy into the grid, sponsored by the American Council on
Renewable Energy, Patrick Graichen of the German firm Agora Energiewende pointed to this problem in explaining why his
organization is not sorry the country is closing nuclear plants at the same time it pursues ambitious renewable energy targets.
Nuclear, he said, just makes it harder. How big a problem is this likely to be in the U.S.? Certainly there is not enough nuclear in
the PJM Interconnection grid as a whole to hog all the baseload in the region, and PJM has concluded it can already integrate up to
30% renewable energy without affecting reliability. But the interplay of nuclear and renewables is already shaping utility
strategies. Dominion Virginia Power is on a campaign to build out enough generation in Virginia to eliminate its imports of
electricity from out of state. And in Virginia, nuclear makes up nearly 40% of Dominions generation portfolio. Now Dominion
wants to add a third nuclear reactor at its North Anna site, to bring the number of its reactors in Virginia to five. If the company
also succeeds in extending the life of its existing reactors, the combination would leave precious little room for any other energy
resource that produces power when demand is low. That affects coal, which is primarily a baseload resource. It would also impact
combined-cycle natural gas plants, which are more flexible than coal or nuclear but still run most efficiently as baseload. But the
greatest impact is on our potential for renewables. This desire to keep high levels of nuclear in its mix explains Dominions lack of
interest in land-based wind power, which produces mostly at night and therefore competes with nuclear as a baseload source.
Dominions latest Integrated Resource Plan pretty much dismisses wind, assigning it a low value and a strangely high price tag in
an effort to make it look like an unappealing option. Dominion shows more interest in solar as a daytime source that fills in some
of the demand curve above baseload. But given Dominions commitment to nuclear, its appetite for Virginia solar is likely to be
limited. Already it insists that every bit of solar must be backed up with new natural gas combustion turbines, which are highly
flexible but less efficient, more expensive and more polluting than combined-cycle gas, and add both cost and fuel-price risk.