(June 19, 1998) ".....The future role of nuclear power generation has been and will be questioned in principle..... I do not consider nuclear power as compatible with the concept of sustainable development. In my view reliance on nuclear power can therefore not be a viable option to combat the greenhouse effect. This position is shared by all the political parties represented in the Austrian parliament".*
At the moment a majority of the members of the European Union are de facto nuclear-free or pretty soon nuclear-free. These are Denmark, Ireland, Portugal, Luxembourg, Greece, Austria, Italy and the Netherlands. Except for France, none of the member-states has an active pro-nuclear policy.
The Austrian government has been taking the lead in discussions within the European Union on issues as the ongoing financial and political support for nuclear energy. It has been supported by such countries as Ireland, Luxembourg and Denmark. The informal Coalition of Non-Nuclear Countries (NoNuC) was established in September last year. It aims to bring civil servants, NGOs, specialists and politicians together to discuss and bring forward the claim that the European Union should no longer support the further - development of nuclear energy.
A Coalition offers many advantages:
- The international, diplomatic weight and the lobbying chances of any single nuclear-free country will increase;
- The Coalition can be an instrument to attempt more successfully to reform or transform Euratom and the IAEA and to instead create for instance an International Solar Energy Agency (ISEA) or Eurosolar;
- The technical and political know-how and financial potential for nonnuclear energy options to offer to accession countries would not just add up but even multiply.
As Austria will be taking over the chair of the EU in the second half of 1998, the time is ripe for the Coalition to take shape and gain support.
For further information contact:
Anti Atom International
A-1010 Vienna, Austria
Tel: +43 1 522 9102
Fax: +43 1 522 9103
* Austrian Federal Chancellor Viktor Klima, September 29, 1997, in his opening speech at the General Assembly of the IAEA.