Nuclear proliferation was ignored by the French authorities yet again as they accompanied the truck carrying 140kgs of weapons-grade plutonium through France as it continued its perilous journey to Cadarache in the south of the country.
Before reaching its final destination the truck will have travelled more than a thousand kilometres across France, passing by numerous highly populated communities.
"Despite claims that French nuclear state company Areva, the
French and US 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.
with the obvious security risks of this shipment protests carried
on throughout the day all over the country in anticipation of the
truck. Local mayor and leader of the French Green Party, Noel
Mamere, stood with other activists over the highway to Cadarache,
protesting the transit of the plutonium through the town of Begles.
Last week, he had tried to protect his community by filing a legal
challenge at the local court seeking to prevent the dangerous cargo
from passing through the middle of his town. Despite his request,
the shipment continued its course towards the final
Other protestors stood outside the city of Bordeaux during the
final stage of the US transport while five Greenpeace climbers hung
a 10x10m "Stop Plutonium" banner just above the entrance of the
Mirabeau Tunnel - five kilometres from Cadarache
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.
We want and immediate end to plutonium production and
separation. Current stocks of both civil and military plutonium
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 and safer.
Click here to see a map of the truck's route through