Publication Laka-library:
Europe’s radioactive secret

AuthorGreenpeace Int.
DateNovember 2005

From the publication:

                 Europe’s radioactive secret
          how EDF and European nuclear utilities are dumping
               nuclear waste in the Russian Federation

1       Executive Summary
It is well know that the nuclear industry produces nuclear waste in a variety of forms and a range of
hazards. What is less well known is what they do with some of their wastes produced during
uranium enrichment and plutonium reprocessing. This report summarises the secretive attempts of
the European nuclear industry to ‘solve’one of their largest waste problems, by exporting and
dumping tens of thousands of tonnes of uranium wastes in Siberia, in the Russian Federation.

The nuclear wastes concerned are of two types:contaminated uranium (Repu) resulting from
reprocessing at the Cogema/Areva facilities at la Hague, Normandy; and depleted uranium (DU)
resulting from enrichment at facilities in France (Eurodif/Areva de Pierrelatte), and the Urenco
facilities in Germany (Gronau), the Netherlands (Almelo) and the UK (Capenhurst). These are the
facilities that support the day to day operation of Europe’s 135 nuclear reactors.

Reprocessing and enrichment operations are conducted for Europe’s large nuclear electricity
generating companies operating in Sweden, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, the UK,
France, Spain, and Switzerland, as well as non-European clients in Asia and the Americas.1

In total hundreds of thousands of tonnes of waste uranium have been generated at these facilities. In
France alone over 16000 tonnes of Repu, and over 220 000 tonnes of enrichment waste depleted
uranium (DU) have been produced. The volumes are continuing to increase each year.

Understandably the nuclear industry has not been transparent about their nuclear waste dumping
operations. A great deal of information remains undisclosed. However, from information obtained
from official sources, research conducted by Greenpeace and the important work of Wise-
Amsterdam, an estimated total of uranium waste exported by the European nuclear industry to
Russia during the last 30 years is in excess of 100 000 tonnes.

That the European nuclear industry is dumping large volumes of dangerous nuclear waste in Russia
    Main clients are: Vatenfall – Sweden/Europe, EoN and RWE - Germany, Electrabel - Belgium,
    EPZ - the Netherlands, British Energy - the UK, EDF - France, Iberdola - Spain, and NOK/Swissnuclear -