Nuclear energy and human rights: bittersweet harmony or clear conflict?

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Sturm, Bente Elaine
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The 2011 nuclear accident in Fukushima, Japan has caused states to reconsider their nuclear energy plans and the safety of nuclear power plants. Known facts were repeated again; the deployment of nuclear energy involves dangers and risks that can affect the enjoyment of human rights. The aim of this thesis is to research if the use and production of nuclear energy, because of these dangers and risks, falls within the boundaries of the current international human rights framework. For this purpose, this thesis will examine and critically assess the procedural and substantial human rights and case-law that could be linked with the use and production of nuclear energy. In addition, the topics of human rights and the environment, indigenous people and future generations will be shortly discussed to provide a more comprehensive overview on the whole issue of nuclear energy. Finally, it will be concluded that because of the developments in international (environmental) law and the broad interpretations within human rights case-law, the deployment of nuclear energy can no longer be considered to comply with the current international human rights framework and thus violates human rights, including the rights to health, privacy and a healthy environment.
Second semester University: University of Deusto, Bilbao.
environmental law, human rights, international law, nuclear energy