Meuse, France: Anti-nuclear camp in Bure this summer

Translation of PDF leaflet ‘Bring your pickaxe‘ for an anti-nuclear camp – 1st-10th August

We have 10 days to bury ANDRA!

The management of nuclear waste hasn’t and never will have a solution. It will always be there, whether 500 metres underground here at Bure, like elsewhere. The urgency is not about their management, but to stop their production. If the atomic industry and the state wish to bury the problem as fast as possible, it’s surely to continue to produce it. We are opposed to the destruction of our living places, in the Meuse as elsewhere, as well as the continuation of the nuclear industry at any time.

We propose for you to meet with us in Bure, between the 1st and 10th August, 2015, to take the time together to amplify the concrete opposition to CIGEO and its world.

The fall of nuclear

Following half a century of poisoning, the nuclear industry does not have a solution to the radioactivity of nuclear waste. Consequently with this inability, the state wishes to enforce the burial with always more mafia-like methods: a democratic masquerade, hoarding of lands with authoritarianism and violence.

After being made to leave from several other sites in the 1980’s, the National Agency for the management of Radioactive Waste in France [l’Agence Nationale pour la gestion des Dechets Radioactifs in France, or ANDRA] installed themselves for a stage of research in the central-eastern department of the Meuse, in Bure, in 1993.

A sparsely populated area (7 people per square kilometre), Bure is a dream location for piling up the worst waste of inhumanity.  Since 2001 there has been an underground laboratory, and in 2006, despite the conclusion of a public debate with reservations about deep storage, the ANDRA project was converted into a “Industrial Centre of Geologic Stockage” (CIGEO).

No waste has arrived yet; the bulk of the construction work is intended for 2017 and the first loads of waste will arrive in 2025.

We have observed that, as well as an experimental laboratory, archiving centres and an “ecotheque” [eco-library] (a kind of memory of the pre-nuclear state) already present, there are also related works discretely starting every day. There are routes being widened, land is being side aside for the project, trees are being cut down in surrounding forests, etc.

At the same time, a whole industrial accompanying program is being created in the south of the Meuse: a platform of transport for radioactive materials, another platform for stocking new parts of the nuclear plant and educational courses related to nuclear power.

All attempts of opposition by legal means have failed so far
A petition of 42,000 local signatures demanding a referendum, wasted!
The conclusion of the public debate in 2006 dealing with reservations of deep storage, swept aside!
By-laws against toxic landfill, insignificant!

For 10 years, within a network of local and national associations and in response to the installation of the laboratory of ANDRA, a house was bought with the help of German anti-nuclearists, then renovated thanks to donations and personal investment from passing activists. This house has the purpose of being a place of independent information, of alternative energetic organisation, as well as for collective living and welcome space. This “house of resistance to nuclear waste” has allowed individuals and collectives to anchor a local struggle and enable the encounter of many people in struggle.

Whilst these historic components taking place on the ground in Bure for 20 years working on awareness-raising, networking and monitoring the preliminary actions of ANDRA very closely; the state project progresses. To go beyond the associative ways of organisation, it becomes more and more necessary to concretely react against CIGEO.

Why do we oppose this?

Waste is the unsolvable problem of the nuclear industry, we don’t know how to make it disappear, and it lasts for thousands of years to come. It’s management is the missing link in the French nuclear program.

Whether one is for or against nuclear, the political elite would like that everybody recognises the need to manage the waste. This is neither more nor less a strategy of depoliticizing the issue, under the pretext of protecting future generations. But since when was the nuclear industry humanist? If the state and the nuclear industry were coherent, they would stop producing in this completely schizophrenic manner. That would avoid us all living forever with the risks related to the existence of nuclear plants and transportation of nuclear material.

So we are told “the waste is there”, and yes, it is indeed, and it will always be 500 meters underground. Burying the catastrophe is not erasing it; we will not further get out of nuclear. We don’t want neither to referee nor “propose a solution” to the eternal problem that represents the management of nuclear waste. We are not co-managers, that would return to produce the message of the voluntary experts of alternatives, for the profit of nucleocrats [nuclear industry bureaucrats]. Their point is not to raise awareness of the techno-industrial apparatus and political systems for a better solution of waste management; but to stop nuclear production.

Half of the waste that they envisage burying is not yet produced…current storage facilities are full, and they now need to hide troublesome waste and to make room for future waste of the nuclear industry. To finally brandish a quick solution before legitimising the continuation of the “electro-nuclear” program. In other words perpetuating the catastrophe.

CIGEO responds with the the same power game that governs the pharmaceutical and agro-food industries…

CIGEO is also an international marketing operation that aims to give to the French nuclear industry the image of having total control, from the extraction of uranium, to the dismantling of nuclear reactors. To fight against CIGEO is to fight the French energy policy that wishes to make France the switch of Europe and Maghreb [North Africa]. From the EPR-style nuclear reactors to the burying of waste, passing by high-voltage power-lines, CIGEO is the result of a series of nuisances and development of land imposed by the nuclear industry. Besides screwing up a whole region, the burial of waste aims at sustaining the power of the electro-nuclear industry everywhere and also assures beautiful days for the State power and to capitalism. To invitingly dangle this growth with the extension of the European market for electricity and its industrial innovations entirely electric: from objects connected to electric cars, to intelligent networks, smart phones and all these ‘high-flying people’ who promise us the management and development of our living environment.

The flow of nuclides are inevitably dripping out of Bure.

This is why we are opposing the burying of nuclear waste in Bure, like elsewhere….

CIGEO concerns us all!

Come together this summer in Bure

Blocking the public debate in 2013 has given a feeling of returning some collective strength to the struggle. The mobilisation of the local population opposed to the project, comprised of several associations, testifies the will to no longer suffer the powerlessness and dispossession of the struggle faced with lies, corruption and bullshit consultations.

We want to not only inform but to reverse the balance: if this gathering contributes to put a spotlight on the mobilisation in Bure, it will serve mostly as an occasion for concrete actions.

For several years, we have shared collective experiences and common elements in our practices: skill-sharing, researching our autonomy, horizontally structured organisation, opening up spaces where it becomes possible for collective experimentation, benevolence from one to another.

Coming to Bure doesn’t imply being an ecological or anti-nuclear activist, but it signifies that we believe in the necessity to organise beyond local struggles. We will together create a space to live for ten days of exchanges and practices, to discuss about struggles here and elsewhere and about our methods of collective living, within an anti-authoritarian atmosphere, mindful to ward off all forms of domination.

We will address the issue of current struggles (Bure, ZAD, No Tav, Hambach forest…) and those of the evolutions of forms of repression and reactionary movements, before better anticipating the struggle in Bure and envisaging common possibilities. It will also be an opportunity to organise ourselves around the COP21, the intergovernmental climate summit planned for Paris in December 2015.

Let’s outline other imaginary plans for our lives…

Vladimir, Martine & Co, vmc[at]

The CIGEO has planned for Bure to represent 99% of the French radioactivity and will also become one of the most consequential European projects for the next years. The site for burying radioactive waste in Bure (500 metres below ground) will occupy 200ha of agricultural land, 200ha of forest and the filling in of a valley. To all of this, add 10,000 cubic metres of spoilt land, and the arrival of an average of two trains per week for 130 years. 50% of this volume concerns radioactive waste not even produced yet, or from neighbouring countries. ANDRA works to the service of the CEA [Atomic Energy and Alternative Energies Commission], AREVA [French uranium mining company] and the EDF [Electricity of France] among others.

in German