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Sascha Gabizon Contributed to UNEP Year Book 2012

Sascha Gabizon, WECF executive director, has contributed to the UNEP Year Book 2012 by reviewing the chapter Closing and Decommissioning Nuclear Power Reactors

02.03.2012 |WECF

The Year Book Emerging Issues in our Global Environment 2012 of the United Nations Environment Programme focuses on specifically two topics in contemporary environmental politics – urgently improved management of the world’s soils and the decommissioning of nuclear reactors. The executive director of WECF, Sascha Gabizon, together with Christina Hacker from the Environmental Institute of Munich, Germany has reviewed the chapter on decommissioning of nuclear power plants.

UNEP Year Book 2012: Emerging Issues in our Global Environment

According to Mr. Achim Steiner, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of the UNEP, “[d]ecommissioning of nuclear power stations is spotlighted as an emerging issue because of the large number of reactors that have ended or are nearing the end of their lives. Close to 140 nuclear power reactors in nearly 20 countries have been closed but only around 17 have been decommissioned and more closures of older plants are scheduled over the coming years and decades. Meanwhile the tsunami that hit the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan in 2011 has prompted some countries to review their nuclear power programmes” (UNEP Year Book 2012, p. v)

Indeed, the issue of nuclear decommissioning (i.e. the safe handling, at the end of life, of nuclear power reactors and nuclear facilities) has increased significantly in importance since the Fukushima accident. Many states have begun to reassess the practices of nuclear power production. As a result, decommissioning is becoming an ever more apparent necessity and occurrence. Nevertheless, the technical challenges, long- and short-term consequences as well as costs are still not sufficiently well investigated.

The number of nuclear power plants and reactors that are to be decommissioned is becoming increasingly greater. Certainly, this is a fact to be celebrated and a great step towards a cleaner and safer environment. Nonetheless, as it appears from the UNEP Year Book 2012, national, regional and international actors need to emphasize on the more comprehensive examination of the process as well as the consequences of nuclear decommissioning.

Please find a further information about the book here
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