In the news: May 1995
Mescalero’s reverse waste storage vote
(Mar 11, 1995) The Mescalero Apache nation voted 593-372 to proceed with a lucrative project to store spent nuclear fuel for some U.S. utilities. New Mexico Attorney General Tom Udall noted that the state legislature may exercise a veto over the agreement. Mescalero leaders said that the state can “claim no jurisdiction over tribal land.”
China makes energetic decision
(Mar 20, 1995) China has decided to “energetically develop nuclear power”, shifting its priority from hydropower and coal fuel. Yao Qiming of Qinshan Nuclear Power Co. told the annual session of the National People’s Congress that the government should accelerate its development of nuclear power to alleviate shortages in coastal areas.
Iran declares peaceful intentions
(March 12, 1995) Reza Amrollahi announced that the first unit of Iran’s Bushehr nuclear power station, a 1,000 megawatt pressurized water reactor, would be operational in four years. Under an $800 million agreement signed in January, Russian companies would complete the reactor, which was started in 1974 by German firms. Iran is a signatory of the Non-Proliferation Treaty with full rights to develop peaceful applications of nuclear energy.
German Social Democrats fight nuclear energy
(March 13, 1995) Oskar Lafontaine, the deputy leader of the opposition Social Democratic party (SPD) declared “Nuclear power has no future. A technology that can make entire regions uninhabitable is morally irresponsible.” In response, Chancellery Minister Friedrich Bohl stated “Responsible energy policy demands that this inexpensive, secure and carbon-dioxide-free energy source be used as a balanced part of Germany’s energy needs.” In a related announcement, the SPD spokesman declared that his party would walk out of talks on the country’s energy policy if the government failed to guarantee sufficient subsidies for coal mines. Germany currently provides subsidies to the coal industry of 10 billion marks ($7.11 billion) or $71,130 for per mine worker. The SPD is strongest in North Rhine-Westphalia and Saarland, the two states where coal mining is concentrated.