"Illegal" German nuclear funding challenged


(Translated by Diet Simon)

German nuclear opponents criticise the continued government funding of nuclear energy although it is government policy to stop it.

They allege that funding is channelled “through the back door” via the European Community, which is still putting billions of euros into helping the nuclear industry.

Two groups fighting storage of nuclear waste in their areas say a congress on future energies in the Ruhr city of Essen on 19 February “made frighteningly clear the ambitious nuclear energy targets of the North-Rhine Westphalian government.

“A forum on innovative developments in nuclear technology in North-Rhine Westphalia heard that nuclear energy promotion funding in the state flows to it via the detour of the European Community.”

The most populous German state has a conservative government formed by the Christian Democratic Party (CDU) of federal chancellor, Angela Merkel.

At national level there is an increasingly fractious coalition government between the CDU and Social Democrats. The Social Democrats brought into the coalition the decision to drop nuclear power made when they formed the previous government.

The CDU, backed by most industries, has always resisted giving up nuclear power and is trying in various ways to keep it going.

North-Rhine Wesphalia contains many nuclear installations, including Germany’s only uranium enrichment plant at Gronau and a waste dump at Ahaus, both near the Dutch border and owned by power companies.


The Ahaus opponents and the opponents to dumping at the village of Gorleben in north Germany say in a joint statement that a Dr. Werner Lensa of Jülich Research Centre (near Cologne) told the conference about the development aims for future nuclear power stations.

“This devious funding through the back door makes a mockery of the irreversible exit from nuclear energy agreed between the [previous] federal government and the operators of the atomic power stations,” the groups state.

"This raises the suspicion of illegal spending and wastage of tax revenue,” says Felix Ruwe of the Ahaus group.

The groups demand an immediate stop to the promotion of atomic energy by tax investigation and parliamentary control committees.

"At a time of immense loss of trust in the political system, the ending of nuclear energy should be concluded with transparency and openness,” demands Francis Althoff on behalf of the Gorleben opponents.

"It is unbearable and legally questionable that those in political responsibility do not feel bound by the exit consensus and brazenly use tax funds and research capacities for the continuation and renewal of privately owned atomic power stations,” the joint statement says.

The two spokesmen can be reached as follows:

Felix Ruwe phone +49 (0) 2561 / 6577 http://www.bi-ahaus.de
Francis Althoff +49 (0) 5843 / 986789 www.bi-luechow-dannenberg.de

Bearbeitet am: 24.02.2008/ad

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