March 2002

EU environment chief to advise nuclear industry

The Irish Independent, March 06, 2002
By Lisbeth Kirk, edited by Blake Evans-Pritchard

[Posted 07/03/2002]

The former head of the European Commission's environment directorate, Jim Currie, has joined the board of British Nuclear Fuels Limited, BNFL, as a non-executive director, reports the Irish Independent.

By appointing the former EU top official, the nuclear company has secured the best possible expertise just before the Irish Government is expected to take legal action in the European Court of Justice against the Commission for "failing in its obligations" to monitor the plants and ensure that safety standards to prevent contamination of the environment were being implemented.

Mr Currie was appointed as Director General for Environment, Nuclear Safety and Civil Protection in 1997 and took a form of early retirement from last October from the post in the Commission in Brussels.

A report commissioned by the European Parliament in October 2001 highlighted the dangers of the British nuclear reprocessing plant at Sellafield and the French plant at Cap de la Hague. The report, prepared by a Paris-based group of experts, said the level of radioactivity released into the environment from the two plants corresponded to "a large-scale nuclear accident every year."

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