Anny Poursinoff intervened in the French Assembly on 9 February to oppose the deal between France and India on civil nuclear energy and extend support to the people of Jaitapur who refuse the installation by Areva of two EPR power plants in a seismic zone 400 km from Bombay.This text was not supposed to be discussed, but at the request of the Green Party, the opposition was able to impose a debate. The text of the speech is below.

(Translated from French for DiaNuke.org by Dalel Benbabaali)

 

Jaitapur, no thank you!

Mr. President,
Mr. Minister,
Dear colleagues,

I thank my colleagues in the opposition who, at our request, made this debate possible.

Indeed, nothing about nukes is trivial. The Court of Auditors recently agreed with the environmentalists on the hidden costs of this industry.
We are now asked to facilitate intellectual exchange on civil nuclear energy between France and India.

In fact, we fear that the agreement is linked to the installation by Areva of EPR nuclear power plants in Jaitapur, an area rich in biodiversity and a seismic zone, 400 kilometers from Bombay, the Indian economic metropolis.
A few days before the anniversary of Fukushima, after the report of the Nuclear Safety Authority showing that power plants are not infallible, our Indian friends themselves have doubts: they asked Areva to strengthen the security of computer systems.

Indeed, in a country ranked fourth as a terrorist target, the risk of attacks adds to the risk of accidents.

But the EPR is particularly dangerous. It produces plutonium and uses MOX, whose radioactivity is 5 to 7 times superior to that of uranium fuel.

Through this agreement, we are asked therefore to take the risk of a new Fukushima and another Hiroshima.

No, I’m not exaggerating.

You know it, India and Pakistan have developed nuclear weapons. These two rivals have not signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.

You also know that France is selling weapons to both countries – let us remember the case of Karachi or the recent sale of over a hundred fighter jets to India.

The agreement on intellectual property could open the door to the transfer of technology which could be used for military purposes, whether uranium processing and enrichment or plutonium production .

Yet, the Nuclear Suppliers Group, last June, banned the export of sensitive equipments to countries that have not signed the nonproliferation treaty.
So we are asked to take the risk of breaking international laws.

The French government is ready to do anything to sell plants!

I say here solemnly: I hope that negotiations with India on nuclear power will fail.

Democracy requires it: the local population is opposed to the installation of Areva power plants. A protester has already paid with his life!

Scientific and economic reasons require it as well.

Five years of delay for the EPR in Finland! Four years of delay in Flamanville! An addition that never ceases to grow!

Why offer our Indian friends such a poisoned gift?

Our cooperation should be around peaceful activities such as the fight against global warming, instead of focusing on the energies of death, arms sales and nukes!

“We must safeguard the jobs created by Areva!”, my pro-nuclear colleagues will say.

But technology transfers, whose patents India does not recognize, does nothing to protect employees of the French nuclear sector. The Indians have excellent scientists and excellent engineers!

As for the excuse of economic development, it does not stand. Local people do not get the jobs generated by nukes, studies in Tamil Nadu have shown.

The people of Jaitapur understood it: they refuse to be expropriated, they do not want these plants.

Neither do we!

I’ll try to say it in Hindi: Jaitapur, ji nahi!

Jaitapur no thank you!

The French government showed a criminal bad faith. On the one hand it proclaims that there is no risk with nuclear power, on the other it pressurizes its Indian counterparts to change their legislation.

Indian provisions state that the manufacturer is responsible in case of disaster.
After Bhopal, we understand the wisdom of the Indian government vis-à-vis unscrupulous Western industrial partners.

Now the President of the French Republic himself asked the Indian Prime Minister of India to relax the law. Why? Because Areva does not want to be liable for a nuclear accident in Jaitapur?

Neither do we, we do not want to bear this responsibility.

But the best way to avoid another Fukushima is to give up the building these plants, which are located, I repeat, in a seismic zone … like Fessenheim!

French environmentalists have expressed their solidarity with the protests of Indian civil society.

I request you, dear colleagues, to do the same, and to vote against this text.
In France as in India, future generations must be protected from disasters and nuclear waste.