Greenpeace denounces the “scandalous” continuation of the nuclear trade with Russia
Greenpeace on Tuesday called on the French government to stop “Uranium Trading Contracts” between France and Russia while deliveries continue despite the war, in the absence of international sanctions on Russian civilian nuclear energy. In a statement, “Greenpeace calls for a permanent halt to all nuclear trade with Russia”.
The non-governmental organization also calls for “the termination of all current contracts between the French nuclear industry and Rosatom as well as its subsidiaries, starting with the contracts concerning the trade in uranium between Tenex, a subsidiary of Rosatom, and respectively EDF and Orano”. “The continuation of the nuclear trade with Russia, while the war in Ukraine rages, is outrageous”denounces Pauline Boyer, in charge of nuclear and energy transition campaigns at Greenpeace France.
Tuesday morning, “dozens of drums of enriched uranium and ten containers of natural uranium from Russia” were transported by freighter to the port of Dunkirk, to be loaded “on board a train and several trucks whose destinations could be Pierrelatte, in France, and/or Lingen, in Germany”, according to the NGO. Asked about the destination of this load, the EDF electrician group did not respond. Contacted by Agence France-Presse (AFP), the nuclear group Orano (ex-Areva) affirmed that “these transports did not concern either its materials or its facilities”.
The group confirmed to AFP on the other hand to have carried out in Russia “five or six” deliveries of reprocessed uranium (URT) which it owned until October, precisely to the Seversk plant of the Russian state nuclear conglomerate Rosatom, under a contract signed in 2020 for a total volume of 1,150 tonnes . “When the war broke out, there were no sanctions, but we took the decision to settle this contract, and the last transport took place in October”explained a spokesperson for Orano to AFP, confirming information from the World.
Resulting from fuel processing, URT or recycled uranium can be reused to produce new fuel after being converted and then re-enriched. This URT was exported to Russia because Orano “does not have a conversion workshop”said the spokesperson.
For its part, EDF signed a 600 million euro contract in 2018 with Tenex for “the recycling of reprocessed uranium from EDF”.