Reducing nuclear power: an "irrevocable" goal, according to Hulot

Reducing the share of nuclear energy in the production of electricity is an "irrevocable" goal, said Monday the Minister of ecological transition Nicolas Hulot at the moment a public debate begins on the energy trajectory of France. 19659002] "The objective of the nuclear reduction is irrevocable," said Nicolas Hulot on France 2, who does not wish to see the public consultation be reduced to "a debate for or against nuclear power."

"All world is in agreement to reduce the share of nuclear in electricity production to 50% ", he insisted. The date of achievement of this objective "will come out as evidence at the end of this consultation."

The government had given up this proportion of 50%, against 75% currently, in 2025, a goal provided in the law of 2015 energy transition.

The public debate, which will take place until June 30, will address various topics, such as the positioning of renewable energy sources and security of supply.

A website will gather the information relating to the debate (syntheses, studies …) on the energy trajectory and will allow the public to make contributions.

"It is not simply an energy model, it is a model of society, 'is an economic model,' said the Minister for Ecological Transition, who encourages the French to participate in the process.

Public consultation takes place within the framework of the development of pluria programming annual energy plan (PPE) for the period 2019-2023, which should put France on the right track to achieve its long-term objectives.

These objectives include the reduction of 40% of greenhouse gas emissions. of greenhouse in 2030 compared to 1990 and a share of 32% of renewable energy in consumption (40% of production) in 2030.

Japan remembers seven years after tsunami and nuclear disaster

Japan froze in meditation Sunday at 14:46 (05H46 GMT), just when, March 11, 2011, occurred a terrible earthquake followed by a deadly tsunami and a nuclear disaster.

As every year, an official ceremony was held in Tokyo, attended by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Prince Akishino, the youngest son of Emperor Akihito, and his wife Kiko, both representing the imperial couple, as well as survivors.

In the disaster-stricken areas of the north-east of the archipelago, residents also observed a minute of silence, according to the images broadcast by the television channels.

"I offer my condolences to those who have lost their beloved family and friends, "said Abe before giving the floor to the locals.

Among them, a 70-year-old woman from the Fukushima region, Hideko Igarashi, called in a speech with great heart, Japan to "never forget what we learned from the disaster."

"I caught a tree but was swallowed up by the wave, my husband was carried away from me, he shouted + Hideko + three times, "she said. "I regret not telling him to flee sooner."

A total of 18,434 people perished or disappeared in the magnitude 9 earthquake and tsunami that ravaged the country seven years ago .

In addition, more than 3,600 people, mostly from Fukushima, died as a result of the disaster, due to illness or suicide.

Today, the accident at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, the worst in history since Chernobyl in the USSR in 1986, even though it did not officially cause a direct death, still leaves behind more than 73,000 displaced persons, driven out by radiation.

Government lifted evacuation orders in some areas of Iitate, Namie, Kawamata and Tomioka communes in the spring of 2017, but many residents do not wish to return. Dozens of complaints have also been lodged against the authorities and the company Tepco, operator of the damaged power station.

At the end of the ceremony in Tokyo, each of the 820 members of the public dressed in black and almost exclusively of men, was invited to deposit, back to the public, a white flower in front of a stele surmounted by the Japanese flag where was inscribed: "to the souls of the victims of the great catastrophe of the east of Japan", while were thanked the many support received from abroad at the time of the facts.

Cigeo: a national debate will take place on nuclear waste

CONSULTATION. Secretary of State for Minister of Environmental Transition Sébastien Lecornu announced on March 7, 2018 that the government would seize the National Commission of Public Debate for the organization of a large national consultation on the future of nuclear waste in the autumn. The announcement comes the day after demonstrations of opponents against the project of burying the most radioactive waste on the Cigeo site in Bure (Meuse) . For Sébastien Lecornu " everything will have to be put on the table to answer the questions that the French are asking ".

In addition to the debate, a website will gather all the technical files, the political contributions, the scientific works and even the press articles devoted to the subject since it emerged in the late 1980s. This resource center will be run by the State via its Directorate-General for Energy and Climate ( DGEC) of the Ministry of Ecological Transition as well as the Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN) and the Institute of Radioprotection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN) . In addition, a forum for dialogue between experts and civil society will meet each quarter scientists, parliamentarians, unions, NGOs, " and even philosophers ", said Sebastien Lecornu.

A debate without time constraint [19659004] ALTERNATIVES. For the government, it is about getting out of a local conflict and moving towards a national debate on the legacy of the nuclear industry. " The waste is there, generated by four decades of nuclear power generation, we must decide their future and in the current state of the debate, burying in Bure is the least bad solutions " Sebastien Lecornu who is willing to study a reasonable alternative if it emerges. Opponents argue for a shallow storage in order to recover the containers if technical progress allowed to recycle. The secretary of state is pleased that the debate on Cigeo can take place without time constraint since no major stage of the project will take place during this five-year period.

Cigeo has already given rise in 2013 to a public debate circumscribed areas close to the Bure site. It was a fiasco because of the demonstrations preventing the holding of the debates and binding to a retreat on the Internet . Opponents have denounced an empty debate, the decision to make the landfill is – according to them – already taken. By now choosing a national scale, the government hopes – especially thanks to the Internet – to involve all the French and thus give weight to decisions on the future of radioactive waste. So far only pro and anti-Cigeo activists have spoken. The challenge is to make the whole of the national community speak.

A new national debate on nuclear waste

The government announced Wednesday a new "national debate" on nuclear waste management to try to appease the controversy over deep burial while confirming the continuation of the controversial Bure project.

This "national debate "will be held between September and December and will include the issue of burying the most radioactive and long-lived waste, as provided by the Cigeo project committed to Bure, said Secretary of State for Ecological Transition Sébastien Lecornu.

These large-scale discussions will not be the first, after the 2013-2014 public debate on the creation of the Bure site.

But "the very + for + and the very + against + agree on the lack of consultation on the project.All of them have asked me for a debate and I say to myself that we must do it again, "Mr. Lecornu told the press.

" A project out of the ordinary, it is normal that the consultation is h ors standard, "he added. "Certainly there are laws (taken in favor of Cigeo, in 2006 in particular, ed.) Except that after, there are new generations, new questions."

Is also planned "from here to was "the establishment of an online resource center open to the public and a" forum of dialogue "of experts.

The government faces a flood of criticism from environmental and anti-nuclear associations since the evacuation by 500 gendarmes, February 22 at dawn, the Cigeo site, occupied since 2016 by about fifteen people. Last weekend, demonstrations, prohibited by the prefecture, were enamelled of clashes with the police force.

– 'the most reasonable' –

For Yannick Rousselet, of Greenpeace, the debate promised Wednesday is already "provided by law": "the law on transparency of nuclear safety provides that the plan for radioactive waste management is put to the public consultation at its review every three years."

"For that it happens in calm conditions, it will first be necessary that the government makes a gesture and withdraws the police, "he added.

 Secretary of State for Ecological Transition Sébastien Lecornu responds to journalists about the Cigeo project in Bure, February 23, 2018 (AFP / Archives - JEAN-CHRISTOPHE VERHAEGEN)

Secretary of State for Ecological Transition Sébastien Lecornu responds to journalists about the Cigeo project in Bure, February 23, 2018 (AFP / Archives – JEAN-CHRISTOPHE VERHAEGEN)

For his part, Sébastien Lecornu once again congratulated on Wednesday the "return of the rule of law" on the spot.

The Secretary of State gathered for more than two hours a "high-level committee" gathering local elected officials, parliamentarians, waste managers and Andra, the agency carrying the project Cigeo.

Because consultation does not mean suspension of this project, which remains the preferred option, did it he insisted.

"The question is not + is one for or against Bure +, but how should one manage long-lived waste", he added. "Today as long as we have not found any other solution, the Bure project is the least bad solution," says the minister of state (Nicolas Hulot), "the most reasonable solution is the report of the Nuclear Safety Authority "(ASN), according to Mr. Lecornu

The committee meeting Wednesday in Paris and aiming to set up a" territorial project "for the two departments concerned (Meuse and Haute-Marne), will meet again in September. Specific taxation at Cigeo, road and rail infrastructure improvements are among the projects

The site of Bure, chosen in 1998, hosts an underground research laboratory. The request for formal authorization to create the storage center must be submitted in 2019, before the start of works in 2022, the start of a pilot phase in 2025 and the arrival of the first radioactive waste by 2030/35. 19659002] In January, the ASN found the project well advanced but also made reservations concerning certain flammable waste, asking Andra to review its copy under penalty of not authorizing the landfill.

Bure: nuclear opponents gather in peace

Ten days after their forced evacuation of a wood near Bure (Meuse), hundreds of opponents of the project of burying the nuclear waste met Saturday calmly, in spite of a prohibition of demonstration decided by the authorities.

In the morning, about 300 protesters, according to the police, walked between Bure and Mandres-en-Barrois, commune where the Lejuc wood is evacuated on February 22nd. The police control around these two communes.

In Mandres-en-Barrois, where opponents of all ages held meetings in a barn, the situation remained very calm, noted a journalist from AFP. Some had hoods or face hidden behind masks.

At a nearby window, a red banner said: "Limit of work area, do not cross."

The official program of the event provides for discussions and debates between the different committees of opponents, a march towards the evacuated forest, as well as the construction of a "lookout" on land lent to the edge of the wood. A press conference of the opponents must take place at 13:00.

 The prefect of the Meuse Muriel Nguyen in Bar-le-Duc on February 22, 2018 (AFP / Archives - JEAN-CHRISTOPHE VERHAEGEN)

The prefect of the Meuse Muriel Nguyen in Bar-le-Duc February 22, 2018 (AFP / Archives – JEAN-CHRISTOPHE VERHAEGEN)

The prefecture of the Meuse had on Thursday night a decree prohibiting "any demonstration" Saturday and Sunday in the sector, because from the perspective of "serious disturbances to public order"

A ban that decided to override the opponents of this project called Cigeo, who had planned since the beginning of the year a large gathering in Bure this first weekend of March.

The prefect of the Meuse, Muriel Nguyen, said Friday that "more than 700 opponents (were) expected" Saturday and Sunday, of which "a significant number" presents a "extremely worrying profile"

"There is a high risk of clashes with the police stationed on the edge of the woods ", given" the hard-line nature of some of the opponents "and" the motto to reinvest "the area, had argued the prefect. 19659002] – Referred dismissed –

Other prefectural decrees also prohibited traffic and parking at Bure and Mandres-en-Barrois, until Monday included. The nuclear opponents had filed an appeal against this ban, but the administrative court of Nancy rejected Saturday morning, said the Network Out of the Nuclear.

"In view of the military device deployed to impede the holding of these meetings we strongly denounce the strategy of the tension put in place by the authorities and dread the consequences of a repression which seems to be already planned ", reacted the network opposed to the nuclear one.

 Of the gendarmes during the evacuation of the opponents of the project of burying the nuclear waste, the commune of Bure, in the Meuse, on February 22, 2018 (AFP / Archives - JEAN-CHRISTOPHE VERHAEGEN)

Gendarmes during the evacuation of the opponents to the project d burying nuclear waste, the commune of Bure, in the Meuse, on February 22, 2018 (AFP / Archives – JEAN-CHRISTOPHE VERHAEGEN)

February 22 at dawn, an evacuation operation surp Rally, mobilizing 500 gendarmes and helicopters, had been launched to evacuate fifteen opponents installed in the wood Lejuc. This forest was chosen by the National Agency for the Management of Radioactive Waste (Andra) to carry out exploratory drilling before submitting an application for a formal authorization to create the nuclear waste storage site, a priori in 2019.

The large-scale police operation was launched to prevent opponents from carrying out their plans to install permanent buildings in the wood, which would have turned it into a Zad ("area to defend") ) in the image of Notre-Dame-des-Landes in Loire-Atlantique

Since the evacuation, gendarmes continue to monitor the wood.

The Bure site was chosen in 1998 to accommodate an underground laboratory that is to prepare for the burial 500 meters underground of the most radioactive or long-lived nuclear waste in the French park. But this project is still in its infancy and no radioactive waste is still on the spot.

"I am at the disposal of all the legal opponents to constantly improve the project and the associated consultation tools" , insisted on Friday the Secretary of State for Ecological Transition, Sébastien Lecornu, which separates "legal opponents" and those he calls "delinquents."

Since the launch of the Bure project, the protests opponents have multiplied and legal remedies have been filed to prevent the start of work. In August, clashes had left six injured among the opposition and two among the gendarmes.