Radioactive pollution at the doors of Paris: NO to the Exploitation of the Fort de Vaujours

To the Minister for Ecological Transition and Regional Cohesion Prefect of Seine-et-Marne Prefect of Seine-Saint-Denis

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We ask that you prohibit the use of Fort de Vaujours by BPB PLACO, a subsidiary of the SAINT-GOBAIN group.

The Fort de Vaujours has been polluted with radioactive materials, chemicals and heavy metals for more than 40 years by the activities of the Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) as part of the development of detonators for French atomic bombs.

For the safety of workers and local populations, we are asking that BPB Placo's project to build an open-air quarry on this site, whose past activities are still classified as Secret Défense, be immediately terminated.

Instead of engaging in the recycling of plaster, this industrialist is ready, for clearly economic reasons, to take all the risks to supply its factory. This is inconsistent with the stated ambitions of the French government in the context of ecological transition.
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Why is this important?

At the doors of Paris, BPB Placo, better known as Placoplâtre, a subsidiary of the Saint-Gobain group, wishes to set up an open-air plaster quarry on the land of the former Fort de Vaujours.

This site, where French nuclear weapons detonators were tested from 1951 to 1997, is contaminated with Uranium, part of which comes from spent fuel from nuclear power plants (Uranium from reprocessing) containing traces of PLUTONIUM, AMERICIUM and NEPTUNIUM, and most likely Beryllium and other particularly dangerous substances and materials including unexploded ordnance from World War II.

It should be noted that the Fort de Vaujours was for a long time one of the most secret sites in France. The activities that led to the pollution of this site are still classified as "Defense Secret" by the French State. There is no exhaustive assessment of the pollution and materials used during these experiments.

In 2010, when Fort de Vaujours was purchased by BPB Placo, it was first asserted by the manufacturer and by the French State that this site had been completely cleaned up and no longer presented any risk. Radioactivity measurements had to be carried out, in defiance of the danger, by association activists for the State to deign in 2014 to recognize that the site still presented significant radioactive pollution.

Risk minimization, opacity and misinformation are at the heart of this subject.

The French State has consistently polluted this site with radioactive and toxic materials.

The French State sold this site to a French industrialist BPB Placo, specialized in plaster, so that the latter could exploit the basements within the framework of a huge open-air quarry.

The French State has sold a site that is still polluted and delegates the management of the de-pollution of the site to an industrialist whose job it is not, nor their specialty. This goes against the "Polluter-Payer" principle.

The French State, through the Prefectures of Seine-Saint-Denis and Seine-et-Marne, authorized the start of the destruction of the site.

The State is preparing to issue an opinion on the proposed operation of this site by BPB Placo.

The state polluted, the state sold, and now the state will authorize?!

The first phases of the destruction of the Fort de Vaujours, proved by activists fighting for the truth, have already brought to light significant uranium pollution materialising in thousands of tons of contaminated land to be managed by Andra (National Agency for Radioactive Waste Management).

While plaster is a renewable material derived from gypsum, we see here an industrialist taking significant risks at the gates of Paris, in a highly urbanized environment, to supply the largest plaster processing plant in Europe.

Risking the health of workers and local populations for plaster?!

Instead of embarking on a real strategy of plaster recycling, this industrialist is ready, for clearly economic reasons, to take all the risks until resources are exhausted.

Risking the worst instead of recycling?!

We say NO to this project.

We therefore strongly oppose the creation of a quarry on the Fort de Vaujours.

We ask the services of the French State to ban this dangerous and non-compliant project with the stated ambitions of the French government within the framework of the ecological transition.

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