Nuclear fusion reactor project in France: an expensive and senseless nuclear stupidity

Press release - 28 June, 2005
Greenpeace deplores the agreement by the Representatives of the Parties to the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) (1) to construct one of the world's largest nuclear fusion experiments in Cadarache, Southern France. The project, estimated to cost 10bn euros, will not generate any electricity, instead it will need massive amounts of energy to heat up.

"With 10 billion, we could build 10,000MW offshore windfarms,delivering electricity for 7.5 million European households," said JanVande Putte of Greenpeace International. Advocates of fusion researchpredict that the first commercial fusion electricity might be deliveredin 50 to 80 years from now. But most likely, it will lead to a deadend, as the technical barriers to be overcome are enormous.

Today, the nuclear industry presents itself as the solution to climatechange in a massive green-washing drive. Far from being a solution, thenuclear option stalls real action to combat dangerous climate change.It is taking away the money for real solutions that are ready andeconomically available at a large scale, such as wind energy.

Fusion energy - if it would ever operate - would create a serious wasteproblem, would emit large amounts of radioactive material and could beused to produce materials for nuclear weapons. A whole new set ofnuclear risks would thus be created.

"Governments should not waste our money on a dangerous toy which willnever deliver any useful energy," said Jan Vande Putte of GreenpeaceInternational. Instead, they should invest in renewable energy which isabundantly available, not in 2080 but today"

Other contacts: Jan Vande Putte, Greenpeace International nuclear campaigner + +32 496161584Shaun Burnie, Greenpeace International nuclear campaigner, + 31 6 29 00 11 33Cecilia Goin, Greenpeace International media officer, + 31 6 212 96 908

VVPR info: Photographs available upon request: + 31 6 538 19 121 Video available upon request, + 31 6 46166309

Notes: (1) The European Union, the United States, Rusia, Japan, South Korea and China are partners in this project.

Exp. contact date: 2005-07-05 00:00:00