COGEMA maintains its transparency policy
September 30, 2003
The senior defense official under the French Ministry of the Economy, Finance and Industry signed an order on July 24, 2003, concerning "the protection of national defense secrecy with regard to the protection and control of nuclear materials" (published in the Journal Officiel on August 9).
Greenpeace is holding demonstrations today in front of several EDF, CEA and COGEMA facilities to protest the alleged backsliding in the nuclear industry's policy of transparency.
As Greenpeace takes to the streets in its most recent effort to attract the media's attention, COGEMA would like to make the following points:
1) Since 1999, when Anne Lauvergeon became the Group's chairman, COGEMA has pursued a policy of transparency and openness unparalleled in the industrial sector. This policy has included the installation of webcams inside the plants, toll-free numbers for information, systematic announcement of the shipments of spent fuel and vitrified wastes, dialogue with communities, and in particular with environmental protection groups, and many other initiatives. These efforts on behalf openness and transparency have been widely recognized and appreciated by the public, and today they are part of the company's capital, which it intends to preserve and build up.
2) While it is up to the previously mentioned official to explain the nature and scope of the order, COGEMA has received full assurance from the government that the company's policy of transparency will not suffer because of it. In particular, there will be no change in the way it communicates about shipments of nuclear materials.
3) By criticizing the government's measures, Greenpeace reveals a contradiction underlying its own actions. It is in fact the protesters' own aggressive tactics that force the government, which is responsible for the safety of the shipments, to take appropriate steps to protect them. Greenpeace has shown the same irresponsible behavior by publicizing on its Website the make of the trucks used for shipments, their license numbers, the location of their maintenance garages and the routes they take, while arguing that such information could be used to commit terrorist acts.
Charles Hufnagel / Sophie Renaud / Patrick Germain
T: 33 1 44 83 71 17
F: 33 1 44 83 25 52