Apparently, Greenpeace is made up by technically incompetent morons. In a press release from 28 June 2005 they bash out on the Iter project. Previously, I did have some respect for Greenpeace as they made people realise that the environment is important (although I cannot say that I agreed with their methods all the time), all this respect has been lost now, since it now shows that their technical incompetence is extremely dangerous for the environment.
The press release is full of disinformation and technical incompetence. For example, they claim that for the €10 billion (short scale) that the project will cost, one could build offshore windfarms producing 10 GW of energy. The calculations here may be correct, but they fail in one vital point: we do not have wind all the time and it would certainly be unwise to rely on something that is so stochastic in nature. It would be necessary to have fast started backup power plants in case the wind fails.
The point they are trying to make is that it takes away money from already working technologies. With this mentality however, we would still live in the stone age. Of course, their claim here need not to be wrong, but it is severely misinformed, and suggests that the people behind it lacks the ability to grasp the whole picture.
Another claim in this press release is that fusion would create a serious waste problem, would emit large amounts of radioactive material and could be used to produce materials for nuclear weapons. These claims are outright lies.
First of all, the waste problem with fission is not the high active waste that you only have to store for a hundred years, the problem is the low active waste that you have to deal with for hundreds of thousands of years. With fusion, you generate small amounts of highly active waste as the reactor walls are contaminated; this is only a problem when decommissioning a plant after its half a century in service and you would only have to store this waste for a hundred year period.
Secondly, the claim that that the material could be used to produce nuclear weapons is just so misinformed that I get sick. I suppose they are thinking on the tritium generated from the lithium blanket. On the other hand, you basically need all this tritium to sustain the fusion reaction.
If we now imagine that tritium somehow, however unlikely was extracted, the tritium in itself cannot be used to build nuclear weapons, firstly you would need an atomic bomb from uranium or some other fissile material as a starter charge. In order to use tritium as a fusion fule in a bomb, you would need deuterium as well (available in regular sea water). In a normal hydrogen bomb the tritium is actually produced from lithium, and why bother finding tritium which is one of the most expensive substances on the planet when you can buy some lithium and produce the tritium yourself when the bomb detonates?
The claims they make are similar to saying that your mobile electronic device can be used to produce nuclear weapons since it contains a lithium battery, or that people should stay away from water as it contains deuterium.
Greenpeace is out, proving their incompetence in finding working solutions for the environmental problems we are facing. Fusion have the promise of producing cheap, safe and pollution free energy and is the best hope for the future of mankind and earth.