First quarter of 2002
lodges a complaint against person or persons unknown for forgery and
the use of forged documents
Handling and dissemination, for defamatory purposes,
of documents pertaining to the study for the European Parliament on
La Hague and Sellafield
Download the press release and the annex: 020312traduc.plainte.pdf
(4 p., 43 Ko)
Download the complaint in French deposited by WISE-Paris: 020219PlainteWP.pdf
(10 p., 291 Ko)
WISE-Paris, 12 March 2002
WISE-Paris has decided to lodge a complaint with the
Paris County Court (Tribunal de Grande Instance) against person
or persons unknown. A document containing an internal non-scientific
review of a report conducted by WISE-Paris on behalf of the European
Parliament has obviously been forged and distributed to the press with
the aim of damaging WISE-Paris' reputation. According to the weekly
newspaper La Manche Libre, Mr. Bernard Cazeneuve, French Member
of Parliament and Mayor of Cherbourg - a city close to the La Hague
plant - has admitted having distributed the contentious document to
Since November 2000, when the European Parliament's
Directorate General for Research commissioned a study on the possible
toxic effects from the nuclear reprocessing plants at Sellafield (UK)
and La Hague (France), (1) WISE-Paris has had
to face a barrage of unprecedented libellous remarks. WISE-Paris has
hitherto not responded so as not to fuel the controversy sparked by
various officials in the nuclear industry and politicians who serve
as effective relays for this industry. However, a turning point seems
to have been reached with the dissemination of a forged official report.
WISE-Paris has thus chosen to lodge a complaint so that responsibilities
may be clarified.
What is this all about? On 10 November 2001, the daily newspaper La
Presse de la Manche published an article entitled "Crash on
Cogema: the Wise report taken apart" ("Crash sur la Cogema:
le rapport Wise démonté") based on a document
allegedly issued by a "scientific advisory group of the European
Parliament". This document was widely distributed to the press
by Cherbourg's municipal administration and WISE-Paris was thus able
to obtain a copy. When questioned on this, an official in the European
Parliament's Directorate General for Research replied that "no
such document was issued by a so-called 'Scientific Advisory Group'
". He added that it would appear to him that the article in
La Presse de la Manche is "based on a forged document".
On 5 December 2001, this response was officialised via a letter from
Paul Engstfeld, Head of the Division Industry, Research, Energy and
Environment and STOA.
Mr. Engstfeld also stated that "during its
meeting held on 23 October , the European Parliament's STOA Panel
decided to publish the study carried out by WISE-Paris with the reviews
made by the experts selected by the STOA panel, including the internal
appraisal made to STOA by Dr Gaillochet of the OPECST", the
French Parliamentary Office for Evaluation of Scientific and Technological
Options (Office parlementaire des choix scientifiques et technologiques).
(2) Subsequently, Mr. Philippe Gaillochet sent
a letter to STOA in which he indicated that he was resigning as a reviewer
and "formally forbade STOA to publish his review".
According to Mr. Engstfeld, the contentious document "is indeed
the document written by Dr. Gaillochet, but it has been altered".
To our knowledge, Mr. Gaillochet has never replied to the letter sent
to him by STOA officials requesting an explanation.
WISE-Paris strongly objects to the multiple attacks it has come under
and which aim to discredit the scientific value of its work. It would
very much like to see the debate and the controversy focusing on the
content of its work.
The report conducted by WISE-Paris was made public by the European
Parliament along with the opinions of three external reviewers. Contrary
to what some people try to make the public believe, all three (see Annex)
support and justified the publication of this report for the Members
of the European Parliament. Even if some people do not like the results
of the study, it may be noted that, to date, the European Parliament's
Directorate General for Research has not received one single technical
opinion calling into question the content of the study.
- This study is part of the European Parliament's
program to assess scientific and technological questions (Scientific
and Technological Options Assessment or STOA). The STOA program is
supervised by a panel of 33 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs).
To consult the report, see http://www.wise-paris.org/english/stoa_en.html
- Following the positive review reports, the STOA
panel decided unanimously (minus one abstention) to publish the report
conducted by WISE-Paris
Since its publication in November 2001, the 170-page report has been
downloaded over 4000 times, merely from the WISE-Paris Internet site.
It is also available on the European Parliament's website
Mycle Schneider, Director, WISE-Paris
Yves Marignac, Deputy Director, WISE-Paris
Tel: + 33 (0) 45 65 47 93
Fax: + 33 (0) 45 80 48 58
Annex, Paris, 12 March 2002
The external experts' opinions of the STOA report
confirm the scientific quality of the study conducted by WISE-Paris
on the La Hague and Sellafield plants.
Three external scientific reviewers analysed our
report, following a proposal by Members of the European Parliament (including
those most opposed to the study), on behalf of the Scientific and Technological
Options Assessment (STOA) Panel. Their conclusions are quite clear,
as can be seen by the following extracts:
Jean-Claude Zerbib, radioprotection engineer, advisor to the director
of the IPSN (State Institute for Nuclear Protection and Safety) and
the CEA (Atomic Energy Commission) (France): "The WISE-Paris
Report constitutes an important study of the problems linked to the
[nuclear] fuel reprocessing at the Sellafield and La Hague plants. (...)
If it is possible to find in the technical literature certain elements
covered in this report, we have to stress that the latter does not have
any equivalent when it comes to taking into account globally and to
critically approach the problems of the "back end" of the
nuclear fuel cycle. The numerous technical annexes the accompany the
report constitute a useful complement for the Report that merits for
all these reasons a large publication".
(Translation by WISE-Paris)
Dr. Peter I. Mitchell, Department of Experimental Physics, National
University of Ireland, Dublin: "The report contains a wealth
of background information for legislators and regulators and, in the
main, provides a lucid and uncomplicated description of the main issues
attending the reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel at the present time.
(...) All this I have found to be helpful and informative. (...) The
report deals objectively with the subject of doses to individuals and
Dr. Ian Croudace and Dr. Phillip Warwick, Geosciences Advisory Unit,
Southampton: "Overall this is an interesting document that has
assembled an array of data from various sources in an attempt to build
a persuasive case for ceasing reprocessing operations in France and
the UK. We suspect, however, that these countries (perhaps reluctantly)
have already accepted the case and that a slow wind down is planned.
The STOA document provides good reasons for curtailing nuclear reprocessing
in favour of fuel storage on safety and financial grounds. The rate
at which all of these seemingly inevitable changes will occur is the
In addition, the Radiological Protection Institute
of Ireland (RPII) analysed the WISE-Paris report on behalf of the Irish
government. (1) RPII's "general comments"
are as follows:
"The report brings together a large body of information and
presents it in a manner that is well structured, easy to read and well
referenced throughout. The use of Annexes for dealing with specific
topics or presenting large amounts of technical data contributes significantly
to the readability of the report.
"It is particularly valuable that all aspects of reprocessing
- economic and political considerations, legal requirements, non-reprocessing
options for dealing with spent fuel, health issues etc. -are dealt with
in the one document. As a result the report gives a very good overview
of the interplay between the various issues and is a valuable reference
for those working in this field."
- Letter dated 12 December 2001 sent by P.A. Colgan
to Joe Mooney, Nuclear Safety Division, Department of Public Enterprise