France's nuclear energy company denies shipment is US military plutonium

16th August 2004, Comments 0 comments

CHERBOURG, France, Aug 16 (AFP) - France's state-owned Areva nuclear energy company denied Monday that a truckload of plutonium it was sending to a subsidiary in Belgium was US military grade, as the environmental group Greenpeace claimed.

CHERBOURG, France, Aug 16 (AFP) - France's state-owned Areva nuclear energy company denied Monday that a truckload of plutonium it was sending to a subsidiary in Belgium was US military grade, as the environmental group Greenpeace claimed.

"It's not plutonium from the US disarmament plan," an Areva executive, Thierry Langlois, told AFP. He described the plutonium as civilian grade.

In a statement earlier Monday, Greenpeace said the truck, which left an Areva factory in La Hague in western France for Dessel in Belgium, was carrying plutonium left over from American Cold War stocks that are being reduced.

The group said it would escort the truck and warn residents along the roads of the radioactive cargo.

Langlois criticised the Greenpeace statement, adding "these civilian transportations have been going on for more than 15 years" and all safety requirements were being met.

© AFP

Subject: French news

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