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COGEMA comments on investigation

Press release

January 11, 1999

On January 11, 1999, COGEMA learned that the Chief Prosecutor of Cherbourg has opened an investigation of the company pursuant to a complaint filed by the Antinuclear Thought, Information and Action Committee on the grounds of "endangerment of the lives of others by exposing them to immediate danger of death or injury leading to mutilation or permanent infirmity through grossly deliberate violation of an obligation for safety or prudence required by law or by regulation," under Articles 223-1 and 223-2 of the Criminal Code.

COGEMA does not understand the prosecutor's decision to investigate operations that are routinely licensed and constantly monitored by the government, especially since no risk of death or injury has been recorded (let alone any immediate danger, a component of endangerment laws). Moreover, our assertion has been documented on several occasions by governmental authorities in charge of monitoring and inspecting the La Hague plant: the Nuclear installation safety directorate (DSIN), the Office for protection against ionizing radiation (OPRI) and the Ministry-level Division of Energy and Raw Materials.

COGEMA strongly denies having unlawfully abandoned or deposited waste, directly or indirectly, or having made illegal waste shipments. In all events, the investigation is not an indictment of the company; rather, it allows COGEMA to put forward its arguments and defend its rights in this case, which dates back to the filing of the complaint by the Antinuclear Thought, Information and Action Committee in 1992.