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Nuclear Free Tasman flotilla joins Areva protest

Nuclear Free Tasman flotilla yacht joins protest against Areva

Spectator boats were greeted by Greenpeace inflatables and yacht Tiama with large anti- nuclear banners as nuclear company Areva boat Defi-Areva raced in the Louis Vuitton Cup today.

Tiama and Greenpeace inflatables moved amongst the spectator and media boats informing about Areva’s true activities and why Greenpeace is opposed to their involvement in the Cup.

Tiama was part of the Nuclear Free Tasman flotilla last year and again this year when 12 boats sailed out to protest the transport of plutonium fuel and waste through our region. An Areva company was responsible for the 2001 shipment and British Nuclear Fuels for the shipment that arrived this month in the UK after worldwide opposition to the transport.

Greenpeace is opposed to Areva's sponsorship because their group of companies are shipping plutonium and nuclear waste through our region, pollute the marine environment with radioactive waste on a daily basis and are involved in the development of nuclear weapons through their majority owner the French Atomic Energy Commission.

“It is inappropriate for an industry with a history and current practice of contaminating the environment to try and clean up its image by associating itself with the clean, green image of sailing,” said Bunny McDiarmid, Greenpeace Nuclear spokesperson.

Areva was formed in 2001 from a merger between the plutonium reprocessing company COGEMA, the nuclear reactor construction company Framatome, and FCI, a maker of electrical connectors. Areva is 78.96 percent owned by the Commissariat a L'Énergie Atomique (CEA – the French Atomic Energy Commission) and 5.19 percent owned by the French government.

“Areva is here to re-launch itself and make new business using the French sailing team, the America’s Cup and nuclear-free New Zealand as the venue. Behind the name is an industry with a terrible environmental record and which is intimately involved in the nuclear weapons business,” she said.

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