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I came across the article 'Don't make the mistake we did': Fukushima survivor to Queensland, which mentions the Japanese organization Peace Boat (Wikipedia, official website) opposing uranium mining in Australia. The Brisbane Times described the organization as a "disaster relief organisation", but a brief look at the Wikipedia article and their home page suggests that they're primarily an anti-war organization, with a bit of environmentalism thrown in. They have provided some help to those affected by war and by the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami (Japanese language Wikipedia link), though.

What I suspect, but is probably beyond the scope of this stack exchange, is that Peace Boat is mainly opposed to nuclear power because it makes it easier to build nuclear weapons, and that the Fukushima dai-ichi accident is merely being used as a supporting argument for a position it already held.

What I would like to know is whether it is or was common for anti-war groups to oppose nuclear power, even when they aren't politically active on any other environmental issues.

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Yes.

Some recent examples:

Longer ago, in 1981, Dorothy Nelkin published an article on the question in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists:

  • Nelkin, Dorothy. "Anti-nuclear connections: power and weapons." Bull. At. Sci.;(United States) 37.4 (1981). From the abstract:

The anti-nuclear power and the peace movements, while sharing many concerns have only recently begun to link their activities and participation. Because public criticism of corporate policy is easier to mobilize than criticism of weapons policy, those opposed to the potential spread of nuclear weapons have kept their goals and activities narrowed to retain their momentum. The two movements are analyzed and compared in terms of their organization and their responses to efforts made to establish links. Signs of a convergence reflect public concern for radiation safety and nuclear proliferation as both movements broadened their goals to include moral and political themes. Recent shifts in military policy have also brought the groups closer together.

Excepts can be read through Google Books. On page 38, we read:

Mobilization for Survival represents the first peace group to officially include both the banning of nuclear power and military weapons on its official agenda. It has demanded a moratorium on the construction of nuclear power plants and weapons facilities, the mining, milling and transportation of uranium, and on weapons research, production, development, and testing.

So, yes, it is common for anti-war groups to oppose nuclear power.

  • @DVK On a side note, the third link in my article illustrates one reason why many activists might hesitate to join a protest camp in Russia. In Sweden being arrested by police means landing in a soft cell while entitled to vegan food. In Russia it could be quite a lot worse. A Venezuelan who was arrested at a peace camp in northern Sweden a few years ago was quite impressed by the niceness of Swedish police (we did have people awake at all time out of fear for people who might not like us; they do exist in Sweden). – gerrit Mar 18 '13 at 16:16
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    @DVK a 2ft psychopath, or a 2 metre psychopath? – Andrew Grimm Mar 18 '13 at 22:24
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    @AndrewGrimm - oupsie ... And THAT's how you crash $2billion worth of NASA hardware into Mars :) – user4012 Mar 20 '13 at 14:30
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    @DVK, I don't think pacifists limit other peoples choices to defend themselves against psychopaths, although most probably do want to limit the number of weapons overall, therefore reducing the damage that a psychopath can do. That's in fact one of the arguments for TOTAL nuclear disarmament (criminals, terrorists or psychopaths obtaining WOMD — not good). As for military vs. police, that's worth discussing elsewhere. I partially agree. Military rarely addresses criminality. Military are mostly used to defend national interests, rarely to uphold the law. I propose to move to Politics Chat. – gerrit Mar 20 '13 at 15:13
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    I will be cleaning up the comments in a couple of days, gerrit if you think there's anything in the comments that you would like to add to your answer, please do so. – yannis Apr 20 '13 at 9:31

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