Nuclear waste NOAH - Friends of the Earth Denmark helps launch an international campaign against export of European nuclear waste to Siberia
On 29 September, an international press conference was held in Vienna, launching a Pan-European campaign against the International Atomic Agency's (IAEA) and EU's initiative to develop "new solutions" for high level nuclear waste. The IAEA is suggesting an international repository, while Euratom research is focusing on the development of "regional repositories". The only realistic site for both initiatives is to be located in Siberia.
The conference was organised by nuclear waste watch - an international network of green NGOs coordinated by the Austrian Institute for Applied Ecology - and Friends of the Earth Europe. Present were apart from a member of NOAH - FoE Denmark, NGO representatives from the Netherlands, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, Sweden and Finland. A resolution signed by more than fifty organisations was presented at the event. The resolution urges members of parliaments and governments all over Europe not to allow export of nuclear waste to poorer countries with less public resistance.
The resolution can be found at http://www.nuclear-waste-watch.org/resolution.htm
Antonia Wenisch of the Austrian Institute for Applied Ecology, says:
"Not only the IAEA is seriously examining what we could call the "Siberian option". The Euratom project SAPPIER is also looking into regional waste repositories, where countries could get together and find one repository. However, only Russian authorities have so far made a concrete offer to import foreign spent fuel, reprocess and store it. It is absurd to think that transports through the whole of Europe to Siberia would be a measure against proliferation. Experts agree that increased transports of nuclear materials actually increase the risk of theft and terrorist attacks. And it is not realistic to think that another European country besides Russia would offer to import and store spent fuel".
Niels Henrik Hooge from NOAH - Friends of the Earth Denmark says:
"This IAEA and EU initiative is wrong on so many levels. It is unsustainable, dangerous and unethical. Firstly, it is highly improbably that this fragile and unstable region will be able to administer such an enormous amount of toxic waste. Secondly, the risk of nuclear proliferation will increase significantly. Thirdly, this solution contravenes all the basic principles of the European cooperation process: It is undemocratic, unfair and non-transparent. Its basic ratio is simply: Out of sight, out of mind. And finally, but not least: How are we ever going to obtain a level playing field for renewables in the European electricity markets, if the nuclear industry is allowed nuclear waste dumping? The waste problem is the biggest economic obstacle to nuclear power. This problem should be solved by the European nuclear countries on their own territories".
For further information, please contact:
Antonia Wenisch, Austrian Institute for Applied Ecology - Tel: (+43) 664 256 24 76, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Patricia Lorenz, Friends of the Earth Europe/Global 2000 - Tel: (+43) 676 4464254, E-mail: email@example.com
Niels Henrik Hooge, NOAH - Friends of the Earth Denmark - Tel: (+45) 35 36 12 12, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org