Activists set up home on the Happy Ranger

Feature story - 16 November, 2009
A few days ago the cargo ship The Happy Ranger left France carrying steam generators intended for the nuclear European Pressurised Reactor under construction in Olkiluoto, Finland. As the ship made its way from France to Finland, activists from the Arctic Sunrise boarded the cargo ship and are currently occupying the deck.

Parody of the logo of French nuclear fuel company, Areva, manufacturer of the steam generators aboard the Happy Ranger.

This transport of large components for a nuclear reactor is yet another example of France exporting its expensive nuclear technology while undermining investments in real solutions to climate change.

UPDATE November 18, 2009: The Happy Ranger has arrived in Finland with its cargo and our protest camp with eight activists aboard.  Disappointingly, the activists rather than the steam generator have been detained. You can check out the hour by hour story of the action, as told by the activists, here.

The French nuclear industry and President Sarkozy are aggressively trying to sell their nuclear reactors all over the world as a climate change solution. However investments in nuclear energy undermine real efforts to tackle climate change by blocking investments in clean, renewable technologies.

In 2002 Finns were told that accepting a nuclear reactor would mean no need for new fossil fuel plants. But now the same company building the nuclear reactor is planning a new fossil-fueled power station.

In 2004, The International Energy Agency (IEA) warned Finland against the risk of relying on the new reactor for emission cuts. That risk has become a reality, and it's clear nuclear power is no answer to climate change.

Nuclear energy - financial lunacy

Any investment in nuclear energy is a risky business. The nuclear industry is in distress, haemorrhaging money into bad investments while desperately seeking government support in order to pay for it. Finland proves the risk of taking the nuclear energy route: Construction of the French EPR reactor is already three years behind schedule and the expected cost has more than doubled to €5.5 billion.

While some of that cost of the EPR will be paid by French taxpayers, construction costs and the impact of the delay will end up costing more than a €1000 for every man, woman and child in Finland.

 

Wrong way

We can't let the nuclear industry continue to push their fake climate change solutions onto the rest of the world. Tell world leaders to take personal responsibility and show up in Copenhagen to make a fair, ambitious and LEGALLY binding deal. We need real solutions to climate change from our leaders.

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