What happened 25 years ago? We go back to news from our 1979 WISE Bulletin, comparing anti-nuclear news then and now.
In issue 6 of WISE Bulletin we covered the proposal for a referendum in Denmark: "Denmark will probably put the nuclear issue to the test of a population vote. The Danish government is about to present an atomic law to parliament. The law will contain the provision that the question surrounding waste disposal and reactor safety has been 'satisfactorily' resolved". (WISE Bulletin 6, October 1979)
In the end, no referendum took place. Five nuclear reactors were planned in 1976 but never materialized. The strength of the anti-nuclear movement is believed to be responsible for this. Opinion polls showed that 80% of the public was also opposed. (WISE News Communique, 16 October 1998)
Danish electricity utilities studied the suitability of six salt domes for nuclear waste disposal in 1979-1980. Five salt domes appeared to be unsuitable after first test drillings and the sixth dome was dismissed after negative comments from the Danish Geological Authority. The Danish parliament decided in 1985 not to build any nuclear power plants. (Kernafval in zee of zout? Nee fout! H. Damveld et al, 1994).
Anti-nuclear groups in Denmark have since been active against nuclear reactors in neighboring Sweden, especially the Barsebäck reactor, which is very close to the Danish capital Copenhagen. (WISE/NIRS Nuclear Monitor 617, 22 October 2004)
The well-known Smiling Sun anti-nuclear symbol was designed in Denmark in April 1975, by a member of the Aarhus group of OOA, the Danish "Organization for Information on Atomic Energy" (dissolved in 2000). It was a winner from the start, with badges, stickers, posters, T-shirts selling faster than anyone could have predicted. A small slice of the income from sale was used to serve the movement by helping to finance WISE. OOA was determined not to let the Smiling Sun be kidnapped, either by party political groups, or by private business so it was registered as a trade mark in Denmark and many other countries. WISE still takes care that the logo is not misused for commercial benefits. Smiling sun badges and stickers are still available in several languages via the WISE website, www.antenna.nl/wise.
Reproduction of this material is encouraged. Please give credit when reprinting.
Editorial team: Tinu Otoki (WISE Amsterdam), Michael Mariotte (NIRS). With contributions from CNIC, Dr. Raul Montenegro, Citizens' Network of Kashiwazaki-Kariwa, Antony Froggatt, CEE Bankwatch Network and WISE Japan.
The next issue (619) will be mailed out December 3, 2004.
Anti-nuclear protestor, Sébastien Briat killed
The WISE/NIRS Nuclear Monitor wishes to offer its sincerest condolences to the family and friends of 21-year-old French activist, Sébastien Briat, who was killed while protesting against a rail transport of radioactive waste near Avignon in eastern France on 7 November.
Protestors had chained themselves to the railway track in an attempt to disrupt the transportation of 12 Castor caskets of highly radioactive waste on its way back to Germany after being reprocessed at the La Hague facility in Normandy, northern France. Although this form of protest is well established and has been practiced by anti-nuclear protestors for many years, on this occasion, what should have been a symbolic action, ended in a tragic loss of life.
Briat, a student, was buried on Wednesday, 10 November in Bar-le-Duc, Lorraine with vigils held in his honor at French railway stations.
Condolences can be sent to the family care of Réseau Sortir du Nucléaire, 9 rue Dumenge, F-69317 Lyon Cedex 04, by fax to +33 4 72077004 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org