- June 2 - The Nuclear Energy Institutes advertising campaign promoting
nuclear power as an environmentally safe source of energy is false and misleading
to consumers, Public Citizen said today in a petition to the Federal Trade Commission,
filed on behalf of other consumer and environmental organizations.
documents several environmental problems associated with nuclear power, including
greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution, highly irradiated nuclear waste -- so-called
"low level" nuclear waste -- species destruction and water pollution.
nuclear industrys print media advertisements mislead consumers by making
false claims, ignoring significant environmental impacts, and making overly broad
statements as defined by the FTC," Public Citizen President Joan Claybrook
NEI is using the deregulation of the electric industry to falsely promote nuclear
power as an environmentally safe alternative," said Wenonah Hauter, director
of Public Citizens Critical Mass Energy Project. "The nuclear industry
is using misleading advertisements to target consumers who likely will pay more
for so-called green electricity. Consumers will think theyre
helping the environment when all theyre really doing is lining the pockets
of the nuclear industry with more money."
and very new retail electricity market has emerged. Consumer unfamiliarity of
this market allows for deception to occur because environmentally benign electricity
is a new product that can be difficult to define. But the NEI is deceiving consumers
since it is very clear that nuclear power is not environmentally benign.
Citizens complaint follows a decision last month by the Better Business
Bureaus National Advertising Division to refer the questionable advertisements
to the FTC. Previously the Better Business Bureau recommended changes to the NEI
advertisements because they were potentially misleading.
NEI ignored the Better Business Bureaus recommendation, so we join the Bureau
in demanding that the FTC take immediate action against NEI for false and misleading
advertising," said Auke Piersma, energy policy analyst for Public Citizens
Critical Mass Energy Project.
Citizens petition was also signed by Citizen Action Coalition of Indiana,
Nuclear Information and Resource Service, Safe Energy Communication Council and
U.S. Public Interest Research Group.