Nuclear Pride Fest in Brussels
Mission accomplished for the first Nuclear Pride Fest in Brussels !
After Munich (October 2018) and before Paris (coming on October 20, 2019), Brussels was #ThePlaceToBe on Sunday April 28 for European environmentalists – the second #Nuclear Pride Fest.
The organizations participating in the event manned information stands promoting the benefits of nuclear energy all day at the Carrefour de l’Europe, in front of Brussels Central Station.
Banners and balloons decorated the stands. People wearing polar bear outfits danced and pranced, and songs were sung to bring a festive atmosphere to the event organized by the Nuclear Pride Coalition, an international citizens’ initiative for nuclear energy.
The Nuclear Pride Fest was hosted by citizens’ organizations from a variety of European countries and by the American think tank Environmental Progress.
Belgium was chosen as a venue because the country’s nuclear power plants, which provide some 80% of its carbon-free electricity, are threatened under law with permanent shutdown by 2025.
“We want to tell politicians not to make the mistake of phasing out nuclear power, because it would damage the environment and people would have to pay more for their energy,” says Paul Bossens, co-founder of the Belgian citizens’ movement “100TWh”. “Alternative solutions are not sufficiently developed to replace nuclear. The politicians talk about natural gas, but it would produce more CO2 and it would cost us more. (…) People tell us that there is enormous social pressure to denounce nuclear power and that they do not dare to say that they are in favor of maintaining it. Others say they lack information to position themselves.”
In terms of safety, he noted that “in Belgium, in 50 years of nuclear power generation, we have had no serious incident,” underlining that safety provisions are “particularly strong” in the nuclear sector.
The Belgians were also motivated by the issue of competitiveness. They are very worried that higher electricity prices from plants produced with imported gas will threaten their aluminum industry (and other industries by the domino effect) with closure.
At the Brussels Nuclear Pride Fest, our polar bears were very popular with passers-by, Their message : “Only Uranium can prevent climate change” (renewables can’t do it alone).