Myths About Nuclear Energy - Hebrew Edition - Environment

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April 21, 2011
Marc Berthold

Foreword to the Hebrew Edition

The Heinrich Böll Foundation published the first German edition of “The Myths of Nuclear Energy” around the 20th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear accident in 2006. It was considered a reminder and update on the risks and challenges of civilian nuclear energy in the light of a growing international debate around nuclear power as a solution to mitigate climate change. The Heinrich Böll Foundation, in a coalition with many environmental organizations and the German Green party, has a clear stance opposing atomic energy.

In 2010, we felt the need to update the book based on a number of reasons: The international debate on climate change and nuclear energy triggered indeed new plans to build new power plants in many countries. The Merkel/Westerwelle government, which was elected in 2009, decided to delay the nuclear phase-out policy of Germany against large public opposition. The international community was on a rescue mission for the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and has been struggling to diplomatically resolve the nuclear crises with North Korea and Iran. On this point, we share the view that it is impossible to strive for a world free of nuclear weapons while widening the civilian use of nuclear energy on a global scale.

Particularly in the region of the Middle East, a nuclear Iran could trigger a nuclear race involving countries such as Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. The increasing interest among countries in the region to develop civilian programs is a signal in that direction. Thus, we have been joining those international players whose aim is to critically discuss the needs and risks of nuclear power on an international level.

This booklet has been translated into many languages from English and Spanish, to Arabic, Russian and Turkish  as well as Thai and Mandarin. We are pleased to now also provide a Hebrew edition as a resource for those who wish to take a critical look at the role of nuclear energy in the complex relationship between combating climate change, providing energy security and preventing military nuclear anarchy. As the author Dr. Gerd Rosenkranz, Head of the Department of Politics and Public Relations at Deutsche Umwelthilfe, takes mostly a German and international perspective, we invited Dr. Shahar Dolev from the Israel Energy Forum, to provide some insight on the Israeli debate on nuclear energy.

We could not have imagined that, as we were going to print, a major nuclear disaster would be unfolding in Japan. The multiple tragedies of one of the biggest earthquakes in history and a catastrophic tsunami destroying entire local communities and killing thousands of people has been shocking to all of us. The events at the Fukushima plant are not just a challenge for the country and people of Japan, but also for the entire international community. Just as the world needs to come to Japan’s aid, we  also have to consider how we will  deal with the complex reality of growing global energy demand, limited fossil resources, ongoing climate change and the risk of military proliferation. Within this context, the question of civilian nuclear energy policy will need to be decided.

I would like to thank Dr. Gerd Rosenkranz for his cooperation during the translation of the book. Particular gratitude goes also to Dr. Shahar Dolev for his additional chapter on the Israeli context and to Ami Ettinger for his valuable input. We greatly appreciate the work of Shirly Eran for the translation, of Inbar Kimchi-Angert for editing and Adi Ramot for the graphic design.  I would also like to thank Dorothee Landgrebe from the HBS headquarters in Berlin and Annett Waltersdorf from our Brussels office for their assistance with the production of this edition. Last but not least, I would like to thank Elisheva Gilad, Program Coordinator in our Israel office for managing the project within the foundation.

Marc Berthold, Director Heinrich Böll Foundation Israel

April 2011


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