I remember attending People for Nuclear Disarmament rallies in the early 1980s. We held placards and chanted – mostly against nuclear weapons testing at Muroroa Atoll by the French.
Twenty years later there has been no nuclear war. France now uses its nuclear technology to generate 80 percent of its electricity. France also specializes in reprocessing nuclear waste including spent nuclear fuel rods from Sydney’s Lucas Heights.
Lucus Heights is the base for the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO). ANSTO is undertaking a diverse range of nuclear-related research including developing radiopharmaceuticals and techniques for diagnosing and treating cancer, Alzheimer’s and multiple sclerosis.
Last Wednesday Greenpeace was successful in having a French Court of Appeal rule against the French company that processes ANSTO’s nuclear waste.
At issues is whether the company COGEMA, which has long specialized in reprocessing nuclear waste, has its paper work in order.
Greenpeace is hoping that the ruling could mean the nuclear waste from ANSTO has to be returned to Australia.
Why would Greenpeace want nuclear waste returned to Australia? I guess it could potentially be seen as a great publicity stunt.
Greenpeace is currently actively campaigning against nuclear power, reprocessing and waste dumping.
There are about 440 commercial nuclear power reactors operating in 31 countries supplying 17 per cent of the world’s electricity. 56 countries operate a total of 284 research reactors along the lines of Lucas Heights. 220 reactors power ships and submarines.