Theater of Cruelty

The deadly Euratom directive!


Christer Gulbrandsen, who calls himself the holder of a master's degree in political science, had a post in Ny Tid on October 14 under the title «Lammer Lem nei-ligaen». There he tries to ridicule Tine Larsen and Gullbjørg Røisli's informative posts. It would be natural to assume that someone with such a pretentious title can at least read a directive.

EU Directive 96/29 (Section 4, Article 6) clearly allows radioactive waste to be mixed into consumer goods. Due to the EEA agreement, Norway cannot refuse to import these radioactive consumables.

"New regulations in radiation protection legislation" were sent out for consultation without the directive being included. The Storting incorporated the directive into Norwegian legislative text on April 11, 2000, without any parliamentary representative asking for the floor. Subsequently, "Act 2000-05-12 no. 36: Radiation Protection Act and Radiation Use" became Norwegian law on May 12 of that year.

However, the Storting's approval can of the directive may be said to be without significant significance, as it will hardly be relevant to add nuclear waste to consumer goods here in Norway. What is of greater importance is that the EU both allows, and practices, the addition of nuclear waste in raw materials to industry, – and that Norwegian law now allows the import of such products!

According to this directive, known as the Euratom Directive, it is possible for EU countries to use radioactive nuclear waste, – which has so far been stored in landfills, – in the production of consumer goods.

The documentation can be found in Section 4, Article 6.1: "Member States shall ensure that all new classes or types of practices which result in exposure to ionizing radiation before they are first adopted or first approved, are justified by their financial, social or other benefits in relation to the health damage they may cause».

Instead of applying for a special permit to dispose of the waste, and having to keep accounts with every single kilo, you can now just mix the waste with non-radioactive material to get below the legal limit values ​​- and then use it in the production of consumer goods. The waste has been given the status of a commodity. Thus, the nuclear industry and the EU authorities have turned a problem into an economic gain, and it is now up to the industry to mix radioactive material in the production of everything from cars, beds, cutlery and plastic mugs to bicycle helmets and road surfaces, – «except four product areas; namely food, toys, cosmetics and ornaments ».

That's interesting that the EU authorities make exceptions for eg. toys. This suggests that they are fully aware of the health hazards; that there is an increased risk of cancer when exposed to radioactive radiation even in small doses, and they clearly refuse to expose children to this.

In order to allow the addition of nuclear waste to consumer goods, the EU must of course claim that such addition is safe, or at least that health is not so important. It is therefore reserved that "an approval must be justified for economic or social reasons, – weighed against the health damage it may cause".

The thinking behind the directive is quite square: Since limit values ​​are set for different types of radioactive radiation, radiation is not dangerous if we stay below the limits. Unfortunately, it's not that easy.

Firstly the environment around us will be filled with more and more radioactive substances as the contaminated consumables come into circulation, and in addition to natural radiation. For many people, the limit values ​​will be exceeded without being aware of it. The Directive mentions this problem, but does not specify countermeasures.

There is no guarantee that low radiation doses are not a health risk. The reason is that even a single small particle of radioactive material can, – if inhaled, for example, – inflict enormous damage on a person within 10-15 years. The researchers point out that there are several ways in which radioactive particles can enter the body. If such objects / products are burned, for example, we may inhale these radioactive particles. When these types of particles enter the body, they penetrate into the skeleton and remain there to emit radiation. This can lead to leukemia, skeletal cancer, various blood diseases, and having children with malformations. In addition, new research shows that even the smallest dose of radiation can cause hereditary chromosomal defects.

The nuclear industry will also be able to offer payment for industrial companies to handle their waste. This will constitute a form of subsidy that will make it difficult for other "clean" companies to be competitive on price. This in turn can lead to Norwegian companies being priced out of their markets. In the EU, all goods must freely cross all borders, and the same applies to EEA countries. This means that in Norway we cannot refuse import of such products as long as we are subject to the EEA agreement:

§ 20 Import and sale prohibition: The Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority may refuse the import or sale of any product or substance and any product that may pose a health or environmental risk due to radiation, provided that this does not contravene international agreements to which Norway is a party. »

I suppose that Christer Gulbrandsen owes Gullbjørg Røisli an apology, and at the same time he should perhaps admit that he has not really read the directive.

The fact that Steinar Lem has gone from no to yes in the EU question because of EU environmental policy is also an incomprehensible mystery to me.

Ole Ø. Kvalheim, county leader Møre and Romsdal No to the EU

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