Maison de la Résistance in Bure, France

While nations in Africa and Asia are coming under tremendous foreign pressure to adopt nuclear energy as the answer to their energy problems, the nations that are trying to sell nuclear reactors to them are actually at the end of the road of their nuclear dreams. Nuclear energy is no longer financially viable, and public opinion has turned against it. The Canadian scientist, Dr. Gordon Edwards, assessed the situation this way last year:

… while the nuclear age in terms of nuclear energy may be winding down, the age of nuclear waste is really just beginning, and people are going to have to get more involved, not less involved, more involved to make sure that these wastes are handled properly, and that doesn’t mean abandoning them.

How I Became A Nuclear Skeptic with Dr. Gordon Edwards,” Green Majority, Canada, July 25, 2015.


Citizens of nations that are developing nuclear would do well to think not only about the frightening possibilities of nuclear accidents but also about the problems surrounding nuclear energy even if no accidents occur. Uranium mining, proliferation of fissile material, and nuclear waste disposal are the big issues that remain unresolved. The rest of this article is a short letter by one of the members of Bure Zone Libre, a group that has been actively monitoring, questioning and resisting the plans of the French government to build a major repository for nation’s high level nuclear waste in the rural town of Bure, in northeastern France.

The Story of la Maison de la Résistance (House of Resistance)
by Marie Béduneau, February 23, 2016

In Bure there is a place called la Maison de la Résistance. It’s open every day to anyone who would like to stay just for one day or much longer. And what do we do in the house? We live!

maison bure

We live here because the nuclear industry and the French government want to bury their nuclear wastes here 500 meters below the surface. And we don’t want nuclear waste, neither here or anywhere else. We don’t want nuclear at all.

With few people living in this area (about 7 people/km²), Bure was thought to be the ideal area to pile up humanity’s most toxic waste. An underground laboratory was created here in 2001, and in 2006 ANDRA (the national agency in charge of nuclear waste) decided to convert it into an “Industrial center for geologic management” (CIGEO) despite the public opinion about geological storage. There is still no nuclear waste here. The start of the site’s exploitation is planned for 2017 while the first batch of nuclear waste is supposed to be put in by 2025.


With the help of local and national associations and antinuclear activists from Germany, we bought a house ten years ago as a response to ANDRA’s laboratory. Thanks to donations from locals and people passing through, it has been possible to refurbish this “house of resistance.” As a community or meeting place, this house has provided an opportunity to gather independent information about the nuclear industry, make use of renewable energy resources, and so on. This place, where many activists from France and elsewhere have been able to meet each other, is now at the heart of the growing local opposition. Despite what people have done in Bure for 20 years (raising awareness among people, creating a network with other anti-nuclear groups, and keeping ANDRA’s projects under supervision), CIGEO is still gaining ground.

But there is this Maison de la Résistance, and other organizations and friends, and there is the hope that we can stop this criminal imposition on the community. Some towns in Italy are famous for having had to suffer mafia and “waste management” companies dumping garbage on them illegally. For us, CIGEO seems like a similar affliction.

And so in this house, there is a dormitory, a workshop, a garden, and a big room where we can meet, debate, and hold concerts and conferences. There is also an office to keep us connected to people throughout the world fighting similar battles. And there is a kitchen where we can drink good coffee while putting the world to rights.

This house is a tool which can be used in many ways. We may think of it as the shovel that will bury not nuclear garbage but the CIGEO project at Bure itself.

Visitors are welcome!

Association Bure Zone Libre
2 rue de l’église
Bure, France
03 29 45 41 77

Join discussion: leave a comment