Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Greenpeace demonstrates Europe’s unsoved nuclear waste problem

The nuclear sector has no idea what to do with this waste, let alone the far more dangerous and long-lived waste that also continues to pile up. As the vast majority comes from the power sector, the only logical step is to phase out nuclear power.

Greenpeace takes radioactive waste to the European Parliament, International Media-Newswire.com, by Jack Hunter, 8 Oct 2010,  – Greenpeace delivered radioactive waste to the door of the European Parliament today to remind MEPs in their last plenary session before considering a new nuclear waste law that there is no solution to nuclear waste.
Two qualified Greenpeace radiation specialists delivered four radioactive samples in two concrete and lead-lined containers to Parliament’s twin entrances on Rue Wiertz. Dozens of trained Greenpeace volunteers zoned off areas with tape before handcuffing themselves in rings around the containers to ensure their safety. MEPs and staff looked on as Greenpeace climbers scaled 16 nearby flagpoles to hold out banners reading ‘Nuclear waste, no solution’ below the flags of those countries with nuclear energy programmes producing the largest amounts of nuclear waste [1].

Four samples of radioactive waste were collected from unsecured public locations: Sellafield beach in the UK; the seabed at la Hague in France; the banks of the Molse Nete River in Belgium; and from the uranium mining village of Akokan in Niger.
Despite their danger, the materials are not classified as radioactive waste when discharged or left in the open environment as they stem from so-called ‘authorised emissions’ or from uranium mining.

Yet, when collected and put in a container, the samples are classified as radioactive waste that needs to be guarded for centuries until decayed [3]. Other nuclear waste, such as that waste from decommissioning and spent nuclear fuel, is even more dangerous and must be stored for hundreds of thousands of years. There is no way of securing this waste over such long time periods with guaranteed safety, and it continues to pile up all over the world.

Parliament will consider a nuclear waste law for Europe next month [4]. But early drafts exclude the type of radioactive waste Greenpeace delivered and paper over the fears of scientists who say that disposing of highly radioactive waste deep underground could be disastrous [5].
Greenpeace EU nuclear policy advisor Jan Haverkamp said: “It is a scandal that the waste Greenpeace delivered today is being pumped into our seas, rivers and left to accumulate near where people live. The nuclear sector has no idea what to do with this waste, let alone the far more dangerous and long-lived waste that also continues to pile up. As the vast majority comes from the power sector, the only logical step is to phase out nuclear power.

The EU has phase-out clauses for other no-go substances such as mercury. MEPs must ensure that radioactive waste is treated no less severely. As it stands, the proposed directive is little more than a PR exercise to smooth the way for new nuclear power stations.”

Media-Newswire.com – Press Release Distribution – PR Agency

October 12, 2010 - Posted by | uranium | , , , , ,

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