(NewsNation) — A former director and founding member of the environmental organization Greenpeace says he disagrees with the group’s stance on nuclear energy.
“Nuclear energy is the safest of all the electricity technologies we have,” Dr. Patrick Moore told NewsNation’s “Special Report.”
He pointed to more than 100 nuclear plants in the U.S. and Canada that are currently operational and said no one has ever been injured as a result of radiation.
Moore said the Chernobyl disaster of 1986 is a “complete exception” because the Russians built a poorly designed reactor.
“No other nuclear plant in the world has ever had that kind of nuclear accident. Fukushima and Three Mile Island — which are also mentioned all the time about nuclear accidents — did not harm anyone, never mind kill anyone from radiation,” Moore said.
Recently, European Union (EU) lawmakers voted to include natural gas and nuclear in the bloc’s list of sustainable activities, backing a proposal from the EU’s executive arm that has been drawing fierce criticism from environmental groups and now looks set to trigger legal challenges.
One of those organizations isp Greenpeace — where Moore was a founding member and director.
Greenpeace said it will submit a formal request for internal review to the European Commission, and then take legal action at the European Court of Justice if the result isn’t conclusive.
The question of nuclear power has divided environmentalists, energy experts and governments for years, with some arguing it’s an important source of energy because it’s produced with no emissions and thus “clean,” and others saying the risks of nuclear reactions are too great and infrastructure is slow and costly to build. Liquid natural gas, clearly a fossil fuel, is roundly criticized in environmental circles.
Moore said he doesn’t believe all forms of energy can be replaced by nuclear power but should be whenever possible.
“Nuclear is the one technology that can actually replace a lot of the fossil fuels,” he said. “Not because of (carbon dioxide) or climate change, but because fossil fuels are precious, and we should save them for things that can only be done with fossil fuels, like flying airplanes, large trucks and big farm equipment.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.