The nuclear spending in the 7th research programme is double the 1,352 million euros in the previous research budget.
Protesters from Germany, The Netherlands and Russia heard at a demonstration in Brussels, the seat of the EU, that the billions would be better spent on climate protection, energy saving programmes and renewable energies.
“Stop EURATOM!” they demanded outside the landmark Atomium building
(photos at www.tobias-pflueger.de/EURATOM/).
EURATOM is one of the founding treaties of the European Union. It defines its purpose as promoting, coordinating and controlling the nuclear research and atomic power generating industries of the member countries.
"We demand an end to the anachronistic EURATOM treaty! No more EU funding of atomic energy!” said Markus Pflüger of the southwest German anti-atomic initiatives, one of the organisers of the Brussels protest.
Especially now that Germany had the EU presidency and was to host the G8 summit in June it should be urging a really ecological energy turnaround and be opposing resource wars for energy security, said Pflüger, a Member of the European Parliament in Brussels.
After the action at the Atomium the activists supported the handover of 663,000 signatures of individual Europeans and more than 750 organisations demanding that the European Commission put an end to nuclear power production (see www.foeeurope.org).
Earlier, in the European Parliament, the nuclear opponents attended a hearing about EURATOM.
"The spending on promoting atomic power is immense. In the 7th Research Framework Programme fusion energy research will receive 1,947 million euros, nuclear fission and radiation protection 287 million euros,” explained Ursula Schoenberger of a group opposing permanent dumping of weak and medium-active nuclear waste in a former iron mine, Schacht Konrad, near Salzgitter in north Germany.
“The nuclear sector of the joint research centre will be furnished with 517 million, making altogether 2,751 million euros, which is double of the current EURATOM funding of 1,352 million euros in the sixth framework programme,” she said.
Schoenberger’s scientific study is fundamentally critical of EURATOM.
“It has to be publicly scandalised at last that through EURATOM billions of tax revenue are undemocratically moved past the European Parliament to be spent on promoting atomic technology against the declared will of the majority of European men and women.
“All countries that want to leave atomic energy, first and foremost Germany, must get out of the treaty at last.
“Instead, billions could be spent on climate protection, energy saving programmes and renewable energies.” (Link to the study, which is in German: www.tobias-pflueger.de/EURATOM/.)
The leftwing Member of the European Parliament, Tobias Pflüger (GUE/NGL group), who commissioned the study, showed the connection between the neo-liberal EU constitutional treaty agreement including militarisation and the EURATOM treaty.
The 36th protocol amending the treaty establishing the European atomic energy community, gazetted 16 December 2004, refers to the “necessity that the provisions of the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community should continue to have full legal effect”.
“That is a scandal, because with the acceptance of the constitutional agreement the EURATOM treaty would be doubly secured, once in the original as a treaty in its own right and secondly in the constitutional treaty. That’s another reason to oppose this EU constitutional agreement,” argued the MEP.
Francis Althoff of the group opposing nuclear dumping at the village of Gorleben in north Germany, the Bürgerinitiative Umweltschutz Lüchow- Dannenberg, criticised the suggestion of central “European” final storage of waste.
“There is no safe final storing. Instead of pumping millions into what have been proved to be unsuitable sites like Gorleben in Germany or Bure in France, the nuclear exit is overdue,” Althoff said.
Vladimir Slivyak of Ecodefense Moscow demanded an end to the transportation of nuclear waste from Gronau in Germany to Russia.
“This is irresponsible exportation of problems and risks,” said Matthias Eickhoff of the activist group Aktionsbündnis Münsterland gegen Atomanlagen.
He criticised uranium enrichment at the Gronau plant, owned by German nuclear power producers and Dutch and British interests running similar plants in those countries, calling it the start of the atomic spiral in Europe.
“That’s why we concentrate our resistance on uranium transports,” Eickhoff said. He called for participation in a protest on 12 May at the German-French border railway station Perl-Apach.
At the protest action on Friday near the Atomium ( http://www.atomium.be/HTMLsite/dyn/eindex.html) the activists were costumed as atomic death and referred to the victims of the Hiroshima bombing, the Chernobyl meltdown, uranium mining and the worldwide radiation pollution.
“Fifty years of atomic energy promotion, billions in subsidies for research and expansion of an uncontrollable risky technology are enough! Uranium is finite, its mining damaging to humans and the environment, its transportation dangerous and there is no solution for atomic waste – as well as the daily remaining risk and nuclear weapons danger,” added Dietmar Siefert of an anti-nuclear group in Celle, not far from Gorleben, the Celler Antiatominitiative.
Photos of the action and hearing are freely available at http://www.tobias-pflueger.de/EURATOM/. Contacts for more information: Markus Pflueger, Stop Bure Gruppe Trier: 0049-1727379388 email@example.com or Francis Althoff, Buergerinitiative Umweltschutz Luechow Dannenberg: 0049- 5841-4684 BI-Presse@t-online.de.