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EU struggles with nuclear waste problem, plans to ban exports of waste

no final repositories exist for the roughly 7,000 cubic meters of high-level waste produced each year….the majority of the toxic substance is kept in interim storages..

EU nuclear waste proposals include export ban    EUobserver, ANDREW WILLIS 03.11.2010 BRUSSELS – New European Commission proposals will require EU member states to bury their radioactive waste deep underground, with overseas exports of the toxic byproduct also set to be banned.

The draft plans put forward by the EU executive on Wednesday (3 November) could pose a problem for countries that lack the suitable geological substrate for underground burial, while the export ban to non-EU countries may also run into government opposition.

EU energy commissioner Guenther Oettinger defended the draft rules as a necessary measure to enforce International Atomic Energy standards. “If an accident happens in one country, it can have devastating effects also in others,” he told journalists in Brussels…….

The new rules, whose legal basis is the 1957 Euratom treaty, will compel national governments to present detailed programmes within four years of their adoption, indicating when, where and how they will construct and manage final repositories for high-level spent fuel and radioactive waste.

While the EU currently has 143 nuclear power plants in 14 of the its 27 member states, no final repositories exist for the roughly 7,000 cubic meters of high-level waste produced each year. At present, only France, Sweden and Finland have plans to build the secure final resting places for the waste.

As a result, the majority of the toxic substance is kept in interim storages…….

Environmental group Greenpeace slammed the new proposals, saying the commission was falsely exaggerating the safety of deep geological storage to support its nuclear energy agenda.

“This proposal is little more than a PR exercise to try and persuade Europeans that nuclear waste can be dealt with,” said Greenpeace campaigner Jan Haverkamp in a statement. “There are gaps in the science and no [safe] disposal site currently exists, yet the Commission is claiming this is a proven method.”

EUobserver / EU nuclear waste proposals include export ban

November 4, 2010 - Posted by | EUROPE, wastes | , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. We’re big fans of Greenpeace and support their cause!

    Comment by pungle.org | November 4, 2010 | Reply


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