Greenpeace calls on EU Ministers not to be cheated by 'safety' farce

Press release - 9 December, 2002

Greenpeace has called on EU Environment Ministers not to be fooled by Commissioner Loyola De Palacio's 'nuclear package', which will be presented at the Environment Council meeting today. The camouflaged kit, which will be depicted as safety nuclear legislative measures, hides its true purpose: to revitalize an ailing and struggling nuclear industry.

In a detailed letter to EU Environment Ministers Greenpeace has said that the 'package' is "flawed" (1). According to the international environmental organisation, those seeking support for de Palacio's proposals are claiming it will enhance nuclear safety in an enlarged EU. Greenpeace, however, says that this is not the case: the draft proposals will not affect operational safety levels of current or future EU members and therefore should be rejected.

"The reality is that what is being proposed is a nuclear survival package, not safety enhancement", said Greenpeace EU Advisor Arjette Stevens. "Vice- President de Palacio is pro-nuclear and it would appear she is willing to do almost anything to throw this dying industry a lifeline. Greenpeace is not fooled by her rhetoric and the Environment Council should not be fooled either" she expressed.

Greenpeace also voiced concern that the so called 'Article 31 Expert Group', which are independents specialists who have been requested to give an opinion on the 'package', was not established to consider nuclear safety standards, decommissioning funds and radioactive waste management strategies. Greenpeace considers it inappropriate to use a group of 'experts' to hide political decisions.

Greenpeace also questioned whether Article 31 of Euratom is the correct legal basis for the 'package'.

The letter sent to the EU Ministers also calls on Member States not to accept an extension of the Euratom Loan Facility and says that the Euratom Treaty should be abandoned in its present form.

"Let's get real here. What we need is investment, research and development into clean renewable energy if we are serious about protecting public health and the environment. A bogus nuclear safety package only prolongs the inevitable - the end of nuclear and the widespread uptake of clean renewable energy ", Stevens concluded.

Notes: Click the link 'Letter to EU Environment Ministers' at the top right side of this web page