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NZ Govt attend French nuclear powered boat launch

NZ Govt attend French nuclear powered boat launch for America’s Cup

Lorient/Paris/Auckland, May 17th 2002 – Greenpeace is calling on the New Zealand Government to explain why New Zealand Ambassador to France, Richard Grant attended the naming ceremony of nuclear powered boat Areva in France yesterday.

“It is one thing to endorse French challenge for the America’s Cup, but it is another to support Areva a company that pollutes the worlds oceans with radioactive waste,” said Bunny McDiarmid, Greenpeace New Zealand Nuclear campaigner.

“Areva’s participation in this historical and international sailing competition is nothing but a huge greenwashing campaign that needs to be condemned in France and New Zealand,” said Yannick Rousselet, Greenpeace France Nuclear campaigner.

Areva is just a new name for an old industry which has never shown any respect for the sea whatsoever. This industry is the most important marine radioactive pollution source, through its plutonium extraction and use operations.

Areva are also responsible for plutonium (a raw material for atom bomb production) shippings through the world’s oceans, despite the opposition of numerous nations concerned by the risks they pose for the marine environment. And Areva is intimacy linked to Frances nuclear weapons programme by it major owner the CEA (French Atomic Commission (CEA) which t ran France’s Pacific nuclear tests, which made Moruroa a genuine nuclear dump.

Last month, Greenpeace delivered to the Areva Challenge a champagne bottle filled with radioactive discharges from the Cogema La Hague facility’s outflow pipe, in order to have it used during the sailing ship’s naming ceremony.

“Members of the Challenge team have to understand that they’ve become the flag-bearers of an industry which is at the complete opposite of what sailing values,” added Frederic Marillier, Greenpeace France Nuclear campaigner.

For more information:

Bunny McDiarmid, Nuclear campaigner, 021 838 183, or Yannick Rousselet, Nuclear campaigner, 06 85 80 65 59, or Frédéric Marillier, Nuclear campaigner, 06 73 89 55 04, or Brendan Lynch, Communications Officer, 021 790 817

Press briefing, pictures and videos available on request or on www.greenpeace.fr

Note :

(1) Areva birthed from the merging of the plutonium trading company Cogema, of the nuclear reactors builder Framatome and the electronic parts manufacturer FCI. Areva is owned at 78,96% by the CEA (French Atomic Energy Authority) and at 5,19% by the French government.

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