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[en] Transparency, pluralistic appraisals, participation in decision-making... How are international, European and French regulations now being applied? Have NGOs been capable of using their rights of access to information and of participation in decision-making to understand nuclear energy and play a role in this field? The French National Association of Local Information Committees and Commissions (ANCCLI) has drawn up an inventory of the regulatory tools designed for this purpose. How have 'civil society' and the nuclear industry put these tools to use as genuine means of action? What positive points come to light? And what are the points to watch and to improve? Between the (oft emphasized) urgency of finding a solution and the necessity of taking time (to obtain information, improve skills and confer with stakeholders), 'civil society' expects more sincerity, even humility, from players in the nuclear industry. Above all, NGOs want to see to it that their participation carries weight when decisions are made. (author)
[en] In its report in October 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) emphasized that the share of nuclear power in the world's energy mix must increase. It pointed out the major obstacle to doing this: 'The current deployment pace of nuclear energy is constrained by social acceptability [...]. Though comparative risk assessment shows health risks are low [...], the political processes triggered by societal concerns depend on the country-specific means of managing the political debates around technological choices and their environmental impacts'. Unprecedented efforts are being made to move civilization from one model to another within a single generation. Societal obstruction stems, as the report recalls, from erroneous perceptions. Overcoming it, which would open the way for rapid, significant advances, should be a priority, which is not now the case. The parties in charge of lifting these obstacles seem to have made them heavier. A few persons (in particular members of the association Voix du Nucleaire) have decided to tackle the herculean feat of, above all, 'informing', a task that most stakeholders have sidestepped. Will our children realize that we knew this choice was difficult and that this was the reason for doing something? (author)
[en] With this issue 435 of Futuribles, we begin a new series of articles on energy questions and climate change - an enormous subject, the systemic character of which became clear to us when the French Minister of Ecological Transition Nicolas Hulot resigned in late August 2018. Hulot deplored the lack of greater - political and popular - support to enable real influence to be exerted on government policy and an ambitious project of ecological transition to be promoted in the face of the challenges posed by climate change. In this first instalment, we concern ourselves with the question of the actors involved in environmental questions: who are they, what weight do they have, and what are their actual motivations? Daniel Boy, a specialist in public opinion and political ecology in France, offers a broad conspectus of environmental actors, from the supranational to the local level and ordinary French citizens, taking in national public bodies, elected or consultative, on the way. He shows, for example, what their positions are on ecological questions, how that has evolved, and how it might put them in a position to act (or not) in this area
[en] Radiation Portal Monitors (RPMs) are our primary border defense against nuclear smuggling, but are they still the best way to spend limited funds? The purpose of this research is to strategically compare RPM defense at the border with state-side mobile detectors. Limiting the problem to a comparison of two technologies, a decision-maker can prioritize how to best allocate resources, by reinforcing the border with stationary overt RPMs, or by investing in Mobile Radiation Detection Systems (MRDs) which are harder for an adversary to detect but may have other weaknesses. An abstract, symmetric network was studied to understand the impact of initial conditions on a network. An asymmetric network, loosely modeled on a state transportation system, is then examined for the technology that will maximally suppress the adversary's success rate. We conclude that MRDs, which have the advantage of discrete operation, outperform RPMs deployed to a border. We also conclude that MRDs maintain this strategic advantage if they operate with one-tenth the relative efficiency of their stationary counter-parts or better.
[en] In late August 2018, the French Minister for Ecological Transition Nicolas Hulot, who had been in post for a little more than a year; threw in the towel. As he saw it, it had to be admitted that, with the best will in the world (and one couldn't deny that he had that), it was impossible to implement an ecological transition worthy of the name without mobilizing all the parties concerned, including economic and institutional actors, in all sectors. Effecting ecological transition is a systemic undertaking; it involves the support and coordination of everyone and cannot succeed otherwise. As we have seen in the various articles already published in the series Futuribles has devoted to energy and climate issues since last March, France and Europe have great ambitions for transition to carbon neutrality. And yet, as Jean Haentjens shows here, confirming Nicolas Hulot's observation, there are still very many obstacles to the success of such a transition, and they are very often ideological and socio-political in nature. Above and beyond individual behaviour, which certainly has to change (and which has to be encouraged to evolve), it is in fact at the level of transformations of socio-technical systems (transport, energy, agriculture... ) and their financing that the main obstructions occur. Given this finding, and the complex interactions involved, will the ecological emergency at last shift the dial? (author)
[en] The new Sustainable Taxonomy aims at identifying activities that contribute to the ecological transition, in accordance with European climate and environmental objectives. While the eagerly awaited regulation is almost operational and received the European Parliament's approval, the European Commission is considering the reintegration of natural gas and nuclear energy in the taxonomy. Looking closely at the chronology of events and at the European transparency register, Reclaim Finance sheds a light on the intense gas and nuclear lobbying that led to these dangerous last-minute discussions. Key findings: - It took two years of work to exclude fossil gas and nuclear from the new European sustainable taxonomy. Now, backdoor dealings and special procedures could lead to their integration. - 189 players from the fossil gas and nuclear sector mobilize 825 lobbyists -450 full-time equivalents (FTE)- to put pressure on the European Commission. They are spending between Euros 71.4 million and Euros 86.6 million a year to influence EU decisions. This is a conservative estimate as the EU transparency register is voluntary and non-binding, thus allowing unreported and under-reported lobbying. - The European Commission largely listens to fossil gas and nuclear lobbyists. Between January 2018 and July 7, 2020, EU officials held 310 meetings, 52 between the publication of the final report on the taxonomy in March 2020 and July 7, 2020. Since the taxonomy process started, in 2018, they had 2.36 meetings a week with them. The frequency of these meetings slightly increased after the last report was published in March 2020 from 2.28 to 2.86 times a week. - The fossil gas lobby is especially vast and powerful. It gathers 167 entities that spend between Euros 68.8 million and Euros 82.9 million each year and devotes 759 employees-419 FTEs-to promoting the sector as a 'bridge' energy.
[en] Pierre-Franck Chevet, former president of the ASN, and Herve Mariton, mayor of Crest and former MP, interviewed by Richard Lavergne and Delphine Mantienne on the topic of 'How to talk about nuclear energy in France?'. Both interviewees explain the difficulties to talk about nuclear energy with the general public and with nuclear opponents in particular
[en] The Network 'Sortir du Nucleaire' is currently the main French antinuclear coalition, with a membership of almost 930 organizations and 60 000 individual subscribers. It is completely independent, entirely funded by donations and the subscriptions from its members. Its mission is to unite everyone concerned with phasing out nuclear power and to convince France to phase out nuclear power generation by rethinking its energy policy, improving the efficiency of electricity use, developing alternative and sustainable generation scenarios. This document is the moral and activity report of the association. It reviews the main actions carried out by the network during the past year, presents its communication strategy, its dynamics and links with other associations and groups, and its administrative and financial management
[en] The cause of nuclear disarmament has been pursued for many reasons and in many different forms. The short and long-term objectives of this commitment vary, as does the forms it takes. Over the course of history, some factors may have lost relevance (pacifism, environmentalism), while others have gained visibility (humanitarian law). The creation of categories and typologies in this study face several obstacles. Thus, the same policy can be pursued for different motivations within an organization itself. In a state, different government agencies often have different concerns that may or may not be reconciled in the policy choices made. Thus, in Europe, the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Ministries of Defense are often pointed out for their differences on priorities: the country's image, the role of mediator, coalition work can be favored by the former while the latter will be more sensitive to security considerations. Moreover, in some states where the individual weight of civil servants is significant due to the reduced volume of services, motivations can change rapidly according to the personal convictions of the officials in charge of cases. At the highest level, changes in the international context or in domestic political balances can have a significant impact on a state's priorities. This has recently been observed with Norway, which abandoned its profile as a disarmament leader with the change of majority in 2013, but also in Switzerland, where the transition from Micheline Calmy-Ray to Didier Burkhalter as head of the Executive Council has had the effect of reducing interest in the humanitarian dimension of nuclear weapons. Finally, for the same actor, a policy is often motivated by several factors at once. We can therefore identify at best a cloud of motivations where some seem to be priorities and others secondary in justifying the engagement. Generally speaking, however, we note the importance of security, which still motivates a large number of actors, particularly in the North, despite the changing strategic environment. This takes various and sometimes contradictory forms depending on the actors, but with a widespread desire to preserve the NPT by resolving what is perceived as a major imbalance. Ethical and humanitarian postures remain supported by the most 'radical' in the field of disarmament: they inextricably combine altruistic convictions and questions of image, the desire to increase one's international and domestic political capital by working for the security of all. Finally, some actors use the argument of disarmament to challenge a world order that is unfavorable to them, but here again, this political posture is often linked to other concerns, which may be security, ethics (principle of justice in particular) or identity. This panorama highlights historical aspects. It is often impossible to fully understand the current positioning of an actor without perceiving the legacy of the past. This often conditions the policies of stakeholders, as do some major national leaders and officials whose influence extends beyond their actions or the construction of true anti-nuclear identities anchored within populations and their governments. For a number of actors, engagement in multilateral fora for nuclear disarmament is not very demanding and does not require major costs. But for others, the efforts are followed by real, financial, personal or political investments. Some positions may even have negative consequences for a state and damage its bilateral relations with, for example, nuclear-weapon states. This study makes it possible to understand the various security, political or image benefits that justify these costs and have convinced states and non-state actors to promote this issue sometimes for decades. By noting the different facets of their motivations, it aims to limit the simplifications and caricatures that can be made. Indeed, it is sometimes difficult to perceive the complexities of a policy and its evolutions over time.176 In this way, it can contribute to a better understanding of each other's intentions and foster a more peaceful dialogue between the various actors of the world nuclear order