AREVA, atomic energy, Central African Republic, corruption, defamation, democracy, EDF, Empire, France, France in Africa, Free Speech, freedom of expression, Freedom of the Press, French Empire, French Imperialism, French military, Fukushima, Imperialist, media, MOX, NGO, Niger, Nuclear Empire, nuclear energy, Nuclear France, nuclear power, nuclear state, Observatoire du nucléaire, Savannah River Mox, uranium, uranium mining, WIPP
Almost two months ago, the French government condemned a French citizen-NGO for criticizing the almost completely French government owned nuclear company AREVA. (http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Areva)
How can a government sue its own citizen for raising a question of possible corruption? Shouldn’t the government provide documents proving that there was no corruption instead?
Since when do citizens have no right to criticize their own government or question its actions? This shows that France has no free speech and is no democracy.
We find AREVA a very worrisome entity. It is a majority French government owned nuclear multinational, and by all appearances, the French government seems willing to put the weight of the French military, and now French courts, behind it. What is this other than a Nuclear Empire?
And, AREVA is more widely present throughout the world than realized. It has been present at Fukushima, having provided its MOX fuel, and operating a post-nuclear disaster water purification system, which apparently failed, and other projects. (1) It is involved in the WIPP nuclear waste dump (2), which has recently leaked radiation in the USA; it is involved in the Savannah River MOX plant, which ran over cost and is being moth-balled by the USA. AREVA mines for uranium in Africa, where, by all appearances, the French military is throwing its weight around to protect its mining interests. AREVA works closely with majority French government owned EDF, as well.
The outcome of the appeal in this case, appears yet to be announced. But, the fact that AREVA sued a French citizen, running a tiny NGO-blog site, for defamation, and that a judge ruled in AREVA’s favour, shows just how out of control AREVA and the French State really are. It is hence unsurprising that AREVA has almost two hundred entries in Wise Uranium’s “Hall of Infamy”: http://www.wise-uranium.org/uccoghi.html
Below is our translation of the February 7th statement by the NGO, Observatoire du nucléaire, dealing with this topic. (French original here: http://observ.nucleaire.free.fr/obs-fait-appel-don-areva.htm)
“Observatoire du nucléaire
Statement of 7 février 2014
Condemned at the demand of Areva,
l’Observatoire du nucléaire, appeals this judgement which
seriously endangers the right
to denounce the misdeeds of the nuclear lobby
Friday, 7 February 2014, despite damning evidence made public by l’Observatoire du nucléaire (see http://www.observatoire-du-nucleaire.org), the 17th Criminal Chamber of the Court of Paris saw fit to condemn (to several thousand euros in financial penalties, details shortly) for ‘defamation’ this association, at the urging of the radioactive multinational Areva.
It is edifying to remark that it is not only the justice system, but almost the entirety of French society, the main political parties, with the majority of the ‘big’ media, at the forefront, who conscientiously turn their eyes away, in order to profit from the plunder of Niger’s uranium. So, Areva was finally just executing this dirty work.
France is too happy to be able to fuel its nuclear reactors by grabbing Niger’s uranium at a derisory price: it’s probably hundreds of billions of euros, which should be reimbursed to Niger, especially if one takes into account the serious environmental damage (contamination, drying up of groundwater) and public health (multiple cancers, displacement of the local population, etc.)
The supposedly ‘environmentalist’ party EELV, through its two ministers, and by the complicit silence of its parliamentary groups, is directly the accomplice of Areva and of the nuclear lobby. Questioned on France-Inter, the minister of ‘development’ Pascal Canfin squarely stood up for Areva (morning of 21 January 2013, http://www.franceinter.fr/player/reecouter?play=545845)” [Translation note: the audio seems no long available. However, we found a transcript here: http://www.agoravox.fr/actualites/politique/article/veulerie-de-pascal-canfin-ministre-129564 From our understanding, Pascal Canfin said that Areva and the Niger government were partners (lit. shareholders) at the Niger mines, and hence Areva gives the Niger government money. Pascal Canfin’s argument appears to be that the government-president of Niger can do as they please with the money, including buying an airplane for the president. He seems to consider this not to be corruption. Nonetheless, Stephane Lhomme of Observatoire du nucléaire has spoken of an ethical and moral dimension in this affair, even if it is not corruption by the letter of the law(2)]
“CGT-energy [French energy union], for its part, cheerfully ridicules all union and antiglobalization values by supporting the looting of Niger on behalf of the nuclear industry … and of its lucrative Works Council, carved up, by this union with more than curious methods.(3)
The mainstream media has an overwhelming responsibility, because they, in particular, keep alive the myth of the supposed ‘energy independence provided by nuclear energy’ whereas 100% of the fuel is imported (looting of Niger, deals with dictators of Central Asia, etc.)
Regarding the famous case of the ‘Areva gift’ judged in court this day, it should be recalled that nobody would have heard of this real State Scandal, without the courageous commitment of the l’Observatoire du nucléaire. This payment of 35 million euros, added in late 2012, by Areva, to the budget of Niger, in controversial circumstances, and pre-allocated to the purchase of an airplane for the President of Niger (a former executive of Areva!), perfectly illustrates the contempt of nuclear France for the people of Niger.
It should also be recalled that Areva has modified its version of the facts, several times, first denying the payment (see AFP 12/12/2012, http://bit.ly/1fNXSUg), before admitting it (AFP 14/01/2013, http://bit.ly/1eEzLHk) and then ‘justifying’ it by a new version taking into account current events (war in Mali, AFP March 9, 2013, http://bit.ly/ 1jk54uE).
Only the most naive individuals could believe that this foul smelling ‘Areva gift’ – ultimately never paid following the revelations of l’Observatoire du nucléaire – was meant to help the people of Niger, one of the poorest in the world, whereas Areva makes a lucrative business with the uranium of this country.
Everyone immediately understood that this payment had as its sole objective to mollify the leaders of Niger, who currently attempt feebly – President Issouffou needing Areva to ensure his reelection in 2017, as shown by a confidential document published by the Observatory of nuclear, http://bit.ly/1aD1lW3 – to obtain an increase in the derisory price paid by Areva for the uranium extracted. It is in this sense that the l’Observatoire du nucléaire spoke of ‘methods involving corruption, at least morally, if not legally.’
L’Observatoire du nucléaire has decided to appeal this distressing judgment, which places in serious danger, the right to freedom of expression and the right to challenge the misdeeds of companies of the nuclear lobby“.
Original and related documents: http://observ.nucleaire.free.fr/obs-fait-appel-don-areva.htm http://observ.nucleaire.free.fr/reunion-confidentielle-areva-niger.pdf http://observ.nucleaire.free.fr/doc-modif-budget-niger-don-areva.pdf
Although not clear from the above text, on the web site http://observ.nucleaire.free.fr it is clarified that AREVA is not only suing the tiny NGO-blog L’Observatoire du nucléaire, but also they are suing its director, Stéphane Lhomme, personally.
These added footnotes are not in the original:
(1) https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2013/11/27/areva-at-the-heart-of-fukushimas-explosive-reactor-expose/ Additional information may be found online about the Areva-Veolia water filtration project, and also some other Areva clean-up projects-technology at Fukushima. It is unclear if Areva and partner Mitsubishi are still on the ground at Fukushima or not. Apparently due to Areva’s failures, Energy Solutions of Utah, in partnership with Toshiba, has been operating its “ALPS” system, which has been characterized by repeated problems and should also be replaced.
(2) The Carlsbad, NM, Mayor’s Task Force has recently taken issue with people calling WIPP a dump: http://cumbriatrust.wordpress.com/2014/03/30/pedantic-semantics/ But, what else can you call it? As they have filled each compartment, they have back-filled them, removed them from ventilation, and expect the compartments to at least gradually collapse upon the waste. More than one person familiar with WIPP has said that the compartments are subjected to “controlled collapse”, which is even worse. Regardless, they are gradually abandoning the facility. This is therefore a dump! Only if they were to continually monitor all facility waste could they merit a better title than dump.
(3) The Minister Responsible for Development, Pascal Canfin, member of the “green-environmentalist” party, seemingly took the side of Areva, by not exposing the apparent truth on this infamous donation (recall: http://bit.ly/1kD8GWq ) http://observ.nucleaire.free.fr/rev-presse-2014-01.htm http://www.agoravox.fr/actualites/politique/article/veulerie-de-pascal-canfin-ministre-129564 Pascal Canfin reportedly later declared that Niger’s requests for a larger share from its partnership with Areva were “legitimate” http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2014/feb/06/france-backs-niger-talks-areva-uranium But, history suggests that it is unlikely that this will benefit the people of Niger.
(4) Comite d’entreprise, Works Council: In companies with at least 50 employees, the employer is required to organize the establishment of a works council (EC) composed of elected representatives and possibly appointed by trade unions union representatives. The committee assumes on the one hand, economic powers and secondly, social and cultural features and to do this, material and financial resources. The employer (or his representative) performs the functions of President of the EC. See: http://travail-emploi.gouv. fr/informations-pratiques,89/les-fiches-pratiques-du-droit-du,91/representants-du-personnel,119/le-comite-d-entreprise,1088.html
“Comité d’Entreprise (Works council) is mandatory in any company with 50 employees or more. Members of the C.E. are elected by all the employees, and have 20 hours of delegation. The main role of the C.E. is being the interface between the employees and the members of the board which is constituted of the Chairman and the HR. All the 10 members of the C.E. have a monthly meeting with the board, in which very specific points are dealt with….The funding represents a small portion of the employees payroll, The minimal legal percentage of 0.404%.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Works_council