Nuclear waste

23 Nov 2011

The return of nuclear waste in Germany is legitimate. This waste is an inevitable byproduct of reprocessing spent fuel from German nuclear reactors. The return of waste conforms to contracts signed by the German and French nuclear industries as well as their respective governments.

Each country that took the decision to invest in the nuclear industry and prefers reprocessing is responsible for the waste. European countries use the reprocessing plant in La Hague Peninsula as a means to differ national management of nuclear waste. Until further notice, Germany decided to abandon nuclear power. This does not lessen the country’s responsibility of all nuclear waste that was produced in Germany by itself or its foreign subcontractors. Leaving nuclear power imposes both reflection and a call to action on waste management of production and dismantling materials.

The Euratom directive of the European Union from July 2011 opens the door for exportation of radioactive waste into non-European countries. In first version from the end of 2010, this morally unacceptable possibility did not exist. It was supported by Hungary and Germany. France was also not opposed. Sweden was the only country in the European Union to have denounced this position. Paragraph 4, Article 4 of the directive will facilitate the leak of European radioactive waste, for example into Russia. All the producers of radioactive waste favor this exportation for economics reasons. The other advantage of exporting “out of sight out of mind” mind-boggling nuclear waste is that it will not ruin the image of nuclear power in the producing country.

European citizens, political parties or NGOs that oppose the return of nuclear waste in their countries are responsible, in the long term, for promoting international tourism of nuclear waste. Without knowing, for the most part, they are allies of the EDF and other producers of European nuclear waste.

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