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Germany: No choice but to allow Russian uranium shipments

BERLIN – The German government said on Monday that it could not prevent a shipment of Russian uranium destined for French nuclear plants from being processed at a site in Germany because the nuclear fuel is not sanctioned by the European Union. for Russia.

Environmentalists have called on Germany and the Netherlands to block the shipment of uranium aboard the Russian ship Mikhail Dudin in the English Channel to a processing plant in Lingen, near the German-Dutch border.

“We have no legal basis to block the shipment of uranium from Russia, as sanctions imposed by the EU due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine exempted the importation of nuclear fuels, such as Russian gas. , freeing the EU from the import ban”. spokesman for the German environment ministry, Andreas Kuebler.

He added that the safety requirements for the shipment had been checked and met the requirements, which means that the German authorities must approve.

“You can imagine that we take such shipments of uranium very seriously because of Russian aggression, but also because of Germany’s withdrawal from nuclear in general,” Kuebler told reporters in Berlin. with reporters in Berlin, noting that the government worked to close the processing plant in Lingen and a second in nearby Gronau.

The plant in Lingen is operated by Framatome, which is majority owned by French power giant EDF. The French government has a majority stake in EDF, which manages all of France’s nuclear power plants.

Environmental groups including Russia’s Ecodefense called on European countries to end all purchases of uranium from Russia, and cited the UK government’s recent decision to block Mikhail Dudin from transporting waste. nuclear near Liverpool for processing there.

Government spokeswoman Christiane Hoffmann said Germany was constantly reviewing whether sanctions needed to be expanded, but declined to say if there were specific plans for the EU to block imports of nuclear fuel.

Environment Ministry spokesman Kuebler noted that Russia is not the only supplier of uranium.

“For example, Canada would be another possibility,” he said.

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Follow all AP stories on the impact of the war in Ukraine at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine.

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