First quarter of 2001
and Schröder agree to resume nuclear transport
WISE-Paris, 5 February 2001
Germany and France will resume the transport of
irradiated nuclear fuels, as soon as Germany takes back a return shipment
of reprocessing waste at the end of March or early April. After two
and a half years of interruption, following the Contaminated Shipments
affair revealed by WISE-Paris (see Special
Transport of Investigation Plutonium), the final political
agreement was reached between French Prime Minister, Lionel Jospin,
and Germany's Chancellor, Gerhard Schröder, on 31 January 2001.
It remains to be seen what attitude
the German authorities will adopt concerning the quality control procedures
brought into question by the Belgian government. On the initiative
of its Energy Secretary, the Belgian government has requested, in
particular, that an active sample be taken from vitrified, high-activity
waste, and that a program of analysis and non-destructive testing
far more sophisticated than the present one be put in place.
Below is the full text of the communiqué
of 31 January 2001 from the Prime Minister's Office, translated by
Resumption of transport of nuclear
waste between France and Germany
On 31 January 2001, Prime Minister
Lionel Jospin and Chancellor Gerhard Schröder agreed to the resumption
of transport of nuclear waste between their two countries.
Under this agreement, based on
the conclusions of the working group set up after the Vittel Summit
of last November, a first return shipment of vitrified waste to Germany
will take place at the end of March or beginning of April 2001. The
normal operation of transport to France of depleted fuels from German
nuclear power plants will then resume. The depleted fuels will be
processed at La Hague and then returned to Germany.
Another shipment to Germany of
vitrified waste from reprocessing will take place before the end of
this year. It is agreed that other shipments will be scheduled each
year, at a rate of two per year.
A working group of officials from
both countries with the participation, if necessary, of representatives
from the enterprises involved will undertake regular examination
of the organization of future shipments.