French ecologists dismayed by ITER project win

28th June 2005, Comments 0 comments

MARSEILLE, France, June 28 (AFP) - Environmental groups expressed dismay on Tuesday at the decision to build the international ITER experimental nuclear power station in southern France, calling it a dangerous and costly installation.

MARSEILLE, France, June 28 (AFP) - Environmental groups expressed dismay on Tuesday at the decision to build the international ITER experimental nuclear power station in southern France, calling it a dangerous and costly installation.

"We are against the project because it's very dangerous and will not create jobs in the region," the head of the Mediane environmental group, Jean Marcon, said.

An umbrella association including Mediane and other groups, Sortir du Nucleaire (Get Out of Nuclear Energy), also claimed the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor was a hazard because scientists did not yet know how to manipulate the high-energy deuterium and tritium hydrogen isotopes used in the fusion process.

The environmentalists highlighted a warning from Masatoshi Koshiba, a Japanese scientist who won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 2002, that ITER did not meet "a certain number of conditions, namely safety and economic costs" for it to be considered the dream energy of the future.

"ITER will never produce electricity. Maybe, well after ITER, another reactor in 100, 150 or 200 years will do so -- but that's far from certain," a Sortir du Nucleaire spokesman, Stephane Lhomme, said.

"The reality is that fusion is, at the very least, idyllic," he added.

His association also emphasised that Cadarache, the site chosen for the reactor, was on a seismic fault line.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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