OTTAWA, Sept. 6 /CNW Telbec/ - Greenpeace Canada today condemned the
Harper government for its apparent support for an international initiative by
US President George W. Bush promoting nuclear power and radioactive waste
Last week, a spokesperson at the Department of Foreign Affairs indicated
the proposed Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP) was under consideration.
The plan will be discussed at the APEC Economic Leaders Meeting in Sydney,
Australia, beginning tomorrow.
GNEP promotes the export of uranium and nuclear reactors, along with the
return of the radioactive waste (spent reactor fuel) to the supplier countries
for disposal and reprocessing. Canada, however, has a long-standing policy
against repatriation of radioactive waste from uranium and CANDU reactors sold
"The Bush nuclear program would turn Canada into an international
radioactive waste dump, and the Harper government has not allowed any public
debate," said Dave Martin, energy co-ordinator for Greenpeace Canada.
The Bush plan is being pushed by the Canadian nuclear industry, which
sees the return of radioactive waste to Canada as a way to promote reactor
sales. Canada is the world's largest producer and exporter of uranium, and the
crown corporation Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) designs and markets
the CANDU reactor. Australia is the world's second-largest exporter of
GNEP is touted as an anti-proliferation measure to prevent the
reprocessing of radioactive waste to obtain plutonium for nuclear bombs.
However, GNEP would worsen proliferation through the spread of nuclear power,
and the increase of plutonium reprocessing.
A draft copy of the APEC leader's declaration leaked to Greenpeace
Australia last month promotes nuclear power as a key solution to climate
change. This contrasts with the Kyoto process which has rejected carbon
emission credits for nuclear power.
The APEC declaration also rejects specific targets for reduction of
greenhouse gas emissions, calling instead for a "long-term aspirational global
emissions reduction goal." The declaration is widely seen as an attempt to
sabotage a more aggressive approach for a post-2012, second five-year phase of
the Kyoto Protocol, which will be negotiated at the next United Nations
climate change conference in Bali, Indonesia, in December.
"The Kyoto Protocol should be strengthened and lengthened.
Stephen Harper, John Howard and George Bush represent an axis of dirty energy
sacrificing the planet to defend the nuclear and coal industries," said
The GNEP was introduced by the Bush administration in February 2006.
Canada, Australia and the United States will participate in a formal GNEP
meeting in Vienna, Austria on 16 September.
For further information:
For further information: Dave Martin, Greenpeace Energy Co-ordinator,
(416) 627-5004; Spencer Tripp, Greenpeace Communications Director, (416)