Greenpeace activists deliver 15 barrels of fake radioactive waste to the doors of the European Parliament
Greenpeace activists delivered 15 barrels of fake radioactive
waste to the doors of the European Parliament. Nuclear power is
being promoted at the heart of Europe's new Constitution. Rolling
an outdated and undemocratic treaty into future EU law is not just
inappropriate - it's dangerous.
It should be the perfect chance for Europe to build a bright new
future. A future powered by renewable, clean energy sources like
solar and wind power. Nuclear free and fossil fuel free. A future
where real commitments are made to halting climate change by
phasing out fossil fuels. Where carbon dioxide emissions produced
when fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas are burnt, are
significantly reduced and nuclear fuel is not advocated as a
'clean' alternative. Where the legacy of nuclear waste is addressed
and the myth of safe nuclear power is exploded.
Unbelievable as it may be, Europe is in fact close to enshrining
nuclear power at the heart of its new Constitution. Valery Giscard
d'Estaing has proposed that the outdated, undemocratic and
dangerous 1957 Euratom Treaty is included in the new
The Convention on the Future of Europe is holding its final
talks on the draft Constitution in Brussels. Mahi Sideridou of
Greenpeace said "It's now up to Convention members. They can either
bow to Giscard and let him have his way or stand up to him and say
no to nuclear."
Although numerous individual Convention members have demanded
the deletion of the Treaty from the text that is now being
finalised, they are being ignored by the Praesidium, the ruling
body of the Convention on the Future of Europe that produced the
draft text. There has not even been a full plenary discussion on
this fundamental issue.
Greenpeace energy spokesperson, Stefan Schurig, said "This
treaty is entirely inappropriate to the times and in no way
reflects the actual circumstances in the EU today". Six EU
countries have never produced nuclear power, while four others have
decided to phase it out and Italy has already completed its phase
out. On 12 March this year, the German Bundestag called for the
Euratom Treaty to be allowed to expire.
If the European Union doesn't stand up to Giscard, it will be
required to promote nuclear power and the nuclear industry will get
preferential treatment - institutional and financial. It's hard to
see how this fits with the fundamental principles of sustainable
development and fair competition that requires a level playing
field for all energy sources.
It is feared that nuclear power projects will get additional
funding, for example, through the European Investment Bank because
the proposal would make the European Atomic Community an integral
part of the future European Union.
"The experience of the last fifty years has shown that nuclear
power is a source of incalculable dangers of huge proportions and
that the ever-increasing mountains of nuclear waste cannot be
safely disposed of anywhere in the world", added Stefan Schurig. If
nuclear power is supported by the European Constitution, it will
set Europe back decades.
If the Convention fails to resolve this threat, then it will be
up to the Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) to do so in October at
the next phase of the Constitution process.