AREVA denounces the intrusion of Greenpeace on board a ship transporting uranium
December 01, 2005
Very early this morning in the port of Le Havre, Greenpeace militants held up the loading of casks containing uranium on board a ship chartered by AREVA and due to set sail for the port of Saint Petersburg.
Greenpeace told the media that it was protesting against what it called the "export of nuclear waste."
Greenpeace’s accusation is unfounded; there is no nuclear waste on board the Russian ship rather depleted uranium which must be enriched before it can be converted into nuclear fuel. This operation falls under the scope of a sales agreement between the AREVA group and a Russian enrichment company which has centrifugation technology – the most effective means of enriching depleted uranium. This is a standard and very public industrial operation, carried out in agreement with the French and international authorities. It does not pose any particular problem with regard to nuclear safety: depleted uranium has a much lower level of radioactivity than natural uranium whose level of radioactivity is already very low.
Once again AREVA is calling on Greenpeace for calmer discussions on energy issues and, in particular, their consequences with regard to economic development and combating the greenhouse effect. Through this type of guerilla media campaign, Greenpeace plays on people's fears and puts its militants, those in charge of the loading operation and the police at undue and unnecessary risk.
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