Greenpeace continues to protest US nuclear shipment while deadly cargo travels across France
Cadarache, France, 7 October 2004 - Five Greenpeace climbers have hung a 10x10m "Stop Plutonium" banner just above the entrance of the Mirabeau Tunnel - five kilometres from Cadarache - where a shipment of U.S. plutonium is due to arrive later today. Hundreds of military police and security vehicles have been deployed along the route of this high risk transport.
"Despite claims that French nuclear state company Areva, the French and U.S. governments are committed to this program declaring it will reduce the threat of nuclear proliferation, in reality it will have the opposite effect. It will massively increase proliferation threat by dispersing the plutonium around," said Jan Vande Putte of Greenpeace International.
Every year in France, more than 10,000 kilograms of plutonium are transported from the La Hague reprocessing plant in Normandy to nuclear fuel fabrication plants elsewhere in France. The security surrounding this US nuclear shipment is far higher than the weekly French transports of weapons-usable plutonium, carried out in non-armoured vehicles under low-level police protection.
Greenpeace wants and immediate end to plutonium production and separation and believes current stocks both civil and military should be treated as nuclear waste not shipped around the world as reactor fuel. Plutonium should be mixed with radioactive waste, solidified or vitrified, and stored. This approach would be cheaper, faster, safer, and more secure.
For further information
Shaun Burnie, Greenpeace International, Nuclear Campaign, + 33-(0) 630 368 672
Tom Clements, Greenpeace International, Nuclear Campaign, + 33-(0) 673 496 463
Jan Vande Putte, Greenpeace International, Nuclear Campaign (in Cadarache), +32 49 616 15 84
Cecilia Goin, Greenpeace International media officer, + 31 6 212 96 908