AOC then wrote that French nuclear waste “recycling” was responsible for “reducing the overall amount of radioactive waste to deal with.” In fact, reprocessing irradiated fuel increases the volume of radioactive waste, while reducing only the level of radioactivity. This results in enormous discharges of so-called low- and intermediate-level but still highly radioactive wastes in the form of gases and liquids into the air and the English Channel. It is this that makes reprocessing arguably the dirtiest and most carcinogenic phase of the entire nuclear industry.
AOC also noted that “Japan sends its waste to France and the UK for recycling”. This practice was suspended some years ago, but when it was happening, it comprised more than 160 ship transports of at least 7,000 tons of lethal radioactive cargo, including plutonium, the trigger component for nuclear bombs, an inviting target for terrorists. Most of the reprocessed fuel was then returned to Japan, either in vitrified form or as MOX.
Surely none of this qualifies as recycling?
Needless to say, the pro-nuclear lobby seized on these pronouncements, turning AOC into the latest enviro-convert to the pro-nuclear side. She even garnered headlines in the French press, including in the conservative daily, Le Figaro, where a columnist exhorted French environmentalists to take inspiration from AOC’s epiphany and “abandon their anti-nuclear ideology”.counterpunch Why is AOC Parroting Nuclear Industry Propaganda? – CounterPunch.org