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close this bookSustainable Energy News - No. 35 - November 2001 - Theme: Poverty & Energy (INFORSE, 2001, 18 p.)
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View the documentNuclear & Terrorism - Serious Risks
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Nuclear & Terrorism - Serious Risks


Following the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, on September 11 2001, many have considered the vulnerability of the current centralised energy system to terrorist attacks.

In particular, the vulnerability of nuclear facilities been in focus, because a crash of one of the larger aeroplanes could destroy the containment of, e.g., nuclear reactors, leading to radioactive releases that could be comparable to those of the Chernobyl accident. For this reason, the German NGO "BUND" has called for a fast closing of all German reactors. Even worse than a plane crash into a nuclear reactor would be a crash into a nuclear reprocessing plant, such as La Hague in France and Sellafield in the UK.

WISE-Paris has estimated that a serious accident in one of the irradiated-fuel cooling pools at La Hague could lead to the release of radioactive caesium up to or over 60 times the amount released during the Chernobyl accident.

It is not only NGOs that take this risk seriously: the French government is reported to be preparing to install anti-aeroplane missile batteries to protect the La Hague facility.

Sources and further reading: (in German),