Urenco cancels Russia contract for uranium waste
– Action group Münsterland against nuclear plants
– Environmental Working Group (AKU) Gronau
– SOFA (Immediate Nuclear Abandonment) Münster
– Federal Association of Citizens’ Initiatives for Environmental Protection
Gronau/Münster, 9 March 2022
Urenco cancels Russia contract for uranium waste
– Reaction to protests and EU sanctions
But: Uranium for Ukraine continues despite war Urenco is supplier of enriched uranium
In reaction to the protests of anti-nuclear initiatives and environmental associations and in view of tightened EU sanctions, the Gronau-based uranium enricher Urenco informed the Westfälische Nachrichten yesterday that it had terminated its contract with the Russian nuclear industry. This means that uranium waste will now no longer be exported from Gronau to Russia. As this has so far been the main route for the disposal of waste residues from the Gronau uranium enrichment plant, Urenco spokesman Chris Breuer spoke of “considerable consequences” for his company. German, Russian and Dutch anti-nuclear initiatives had protested foryears against the irresponsible uranium waste exports. Urenco has now announced an earlier commissioning of the uranium oxide uranium waste storage hall in Gronau, built in 2014.
“We of course welcome the overdue stop of the Russian business at Urenco. But it is very sad that it took a Russian war of aggression in Ukraine to get the Gronau uranium enricher to act. We continue to demand a general stop of uranium exports – enriched uranium has no future for a peaceful and renewableenergy world and dramatically aggravates military conflicts,” says Matthias Eickhoff of Aktionsbündnis Münsterland gegen Atomanlagen.
Very worrying, therefore, is yesterday’s announcement by Urenco that it will continue to provide “assistance” to the supplied nuclear power plants in Ukraine. How this is supposed to be possible in the midst of war, Russian attacks and military occupation is completely unclear. Urenco must completely rethink its own business policy – nuclear power is not the solution, but part of the problem. That is why anti-nuclear and peace initiatives are also demanding the shutdown of the Gronau uranium plant.
For several years, the German-Dutch-British uranium enricher Urenco has been supplying Ukraine with enriched uranium. This is then processed into fuel elements by the US company Westinghouse in Västeras, Sweden, and sent from there to Ukraine. The most recent export licenses for enriched uranium from Gronau to the Swedish fuel element factory were issued on 1 February 2022 and 2 December 2021, according to the export list of the Federal Environment Ministry.
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