Anti-nuclear NGO Greenpeace has slammed France for continuing its import of enriched uranium from Russia in spite of the Ukrainian war, calling the deal “scandalous”.
On Monday morning, a Russian cargo ship dropped off a consignment of 25 cylinders containing nuclear fuel at the northern French port of Dunkirk.
This marks the seventh delivery of uranium from Russia to France since the start of invasion of Ukraine, Greenpeace said.
According to TASS news agency, Russia accounts for 15 per cent of enrichment activities for France.
“This is a new illustration that the French nuclear industry continues to trade uranium with Rosatom, the Russian state nuclear giant,” Greenpeace campaigner Pauline Boyer told AFP on Monday.
“The continuation of this nuclear trade with Russia in times of war is scandalous,” she added.
In a report released earlier this month, the NGO highlighted how France continued to depend on Russian nuclear power despite the Ukraine conflict. It added that unlike fossil fuel, importing Russian uranium doesn’t fall under the sanctions, which was announced by the West in response to the war.
However, the French government denied this, saying, “Our country does not depend in any way on Russia for the operation of its nuclear power plants” and “has been able to diversify its sources of supply.”
Greenpeace campaigner Boyer called out the French government’s hypocrisy, saying that if “they want to be consistent with its support for the Ukrainian people, it should cut all contracts with Rosatom (Russian nuclear company).”
According to data by the Point magazine published in December, French energy corporation EDF (Electricite de France) purchased 153 tons of enriched uranium from Russian contractors in 2022.
In total, since the beginning of the year, EDF has purchased 7,000 tons of uranium ore for its nuclear power plants, the report noted.
The publication says that this includes not only the ore mined in Russia, direct mining for France is also carried out in Kazakhstan, Canada, Niger and Uzbekistan.
(With inputs from agencies)