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The after league is paralyzed


Under the headline "Lammer Lem no-league?" Christer Gulbrandsen has written a post in Ny tid 14/10 in support of Steinar Lem. This was intended as a counter-contribution to two of us who are members of No to the EU and who put us critical of Lem's reasoning to change sides. That Gulbrandsen disagrees with the undersigned when it comes to the case is perfectly fine. That he almost ridicules Tine Larsen (deputy leader of No to the EU) and me for our EU view, is not right. Personal attacks are an unworthy form of debate technique.

So to the point. Gulbrandsen believes that the Euratom directive is exclusively about how we can be protected against, among other things, radioactive waste. No wonder he sees it that way, since the directive, apparently, is about this. Officially, Euratom Directive 96/29 of May 13, 1996 is about setting an international standard for radiation protection for workers in the nuclear industry and ordinary citizens. In this context, radioactive waste means low radioactive waste, also called "low-dose radiation". However, the EU has a long tradition of emphasizing the good of a law or directive and obscuring / rewriting the bad. Therefore, finding the essentials is not always easy.

In my post in Ny tid 23 / 9- 05 under the title «When Steinar Lem shouts wolves», I mention that the Euratom Directive allows certain types of radioactive waste from nuclear power plants to be recycled and recycled in the production of consumer goods. Gulbrandsen strongly doubts this. However, this provision is clearly expressed in the Euratom Directive, Section 4, Article 6, which states that substances with radioactive or "ionizing" radiation are permitted in consumer goods. The Danish translation of the directive (which has not been translated into Norwegian) states that this "is justified by their economic, social or other benefits in relation to the health damage they may cause".

It is therefore clear that it can cause health damage, but for the sake of financial benefits, you will still allow it. However, paragraph 3a) recommends that "any radiation for optimization be kept as low as reasonably possible with regard to economic and social factors". In other words, profits are a priority for health and the environment.

Since all ionizing radiation involves health risks, such radiation protection standards are political trade-offs between benefit and risk. One can therefore say that these standards are political quantities.

So a little history. The Euratom Treaty is not a party to the EEA Agreement and the Euratom Directive has never been approved in Norway. Nevertheless, the Euratom Directive, which came into force in 1996, was also of great importance to Norway. The authorities' first step towards adapting to the directive came with the "Act of 12 May 2000 on radiation protection and use of radiation". The purpose of the Act is, according to § 1: "to prevent harmful effects of radiation on human health and to help protect the external environment". (Ot.prp. No. 88, 1998-99). It turns out that the Euratom Directive has been used as a model for our new law on radiation protection.

The change in the law is justified by adapting the legislation to current needs and to "get a Norwegian legislation that is in line with modern international principles".

§ 20 reads: «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 conflict with international agreements to which Norway is a party». This clearly means that it is permitted to import radioactive goods, even if they entail health and environmental risks, if they come from a country with which Norway has a trade agreement. We have, as is well known, the EEA agreement with the EU, therefore it also applies to Norway. However, since the Euratom Directive is not part of the EEA Agreement, we would not have had to incorporate it into Norwegian legislation. Incidentally, a good example of Norway being more EU-friendly than the EU countries themselves.

But it is an addition to the directive, and that is the most important thing. Here it turns out that the real goal is to change the limits for when a substance is to be treated as radioactive waste. In addition, there is a list of 300 isotopes (both natural and man-made) with new limits for permitted radioactivity. For some of the substances, the new limit values ​​have been changed so that they do not need to be treated as radioactive material. An important premise for this deregulation is that this would make it cheaper to demolish old nuclear power plants and thus be able to build 2nd generation power plants.

The nuclear industry's waste problem has never been solved, and it gets worse when an increasing number of old reactors, plutonium factories and other nuclear plants have to be demolished. The new directive allows the nuclear industry to dilute radioactive waste with ordinary waste, and dispose of it as rubbish or use it for building materials, for consumer goods or in the military industry.

Article 6.3a of the Directive states that all emissions of radioactivity shall be as small as possible when economic and social factors are taken into account, and Article 6.5.that it is not permitted to add radioactive substances intentionally in the production of food, toys, jewelry and cosmetics.

A bit of an admission!

Gullbjørg Røisli, board member of Akershus No to EU.

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