The History of le nucléaire en France: an interview with the creator of A Radiant Future

An interview with Nicolas Lambert, author and performer of
A Radiant Future, a stage play about France's nuclear history

This interview, originally published in French in Avenir Radieux: Une Fission Française is published here as a “fair use” excerpt for research and public education, and as a sample for publishers who may be interested in obtaining rights for the English translation of the book discussed in the interview. This material is not for commercial use without permission of the publisher. For citation and publishing inquiries:
Nicolas Lambert, Avenir Radieux: Une Fission Française (Éditions L’Échappée, Paris, 2012)

About the book and stage play:

Nicolas Lambert prepared this play about nuclear for seven years, pouring over heaps of articles and books, visiting nuclear power plants, attending public debates on the EPR reactor proposed for Penly, meeting union leaders, intermediaries, militants, corporate spokespersons for Areva and EDF—and then March 11, 2011: Fukushima.
Then this enormous task that he was conducting alone, in the shadows of a polite indifference, took on a sudden significance. The silence of the media, parliamentary apathy, the disdain for antinuclear activists (seen at best as lovable old cranks), the reassuring refrain that there was no risk of a major accident: all of these perceptions suddenly disintegrated. Barely finished, his play now had an audience that was ready to listen.
Tour de force: In two hours and in 23 characters, all performed by Nicolas Lambert, we are taught how France became the most nuclearized country in the world, beginning in 1945, when de Gaulle created the CEA (Commissariat à l’énergie atomique) in order to make an atomic bomb, until our times when those who wish to get out of nuclear remain inaudible.
Through the choking laughter emanating from irradiated neurons, Lambert makes us see it all: the fable of energy independence, the farce of public debates, the discreet but essential role of great servants of the state like the stunning Pierre Guillaumat, one of the key characters of this saga, the Eurodif Affair, the terror attacks in Paris in 1986, the edicts of Messmer and Pompidou, the procrastination of Mendès-France and Mitterand.
The script of the play is supplemented with a long interview with the author, background information, illustrations and a chronology. In short, everything that the nucleocrats don’t want to think about.

The Interview
conducted by Jean-Baptiste Bernard

How did you become interested in nuclear issues? Is this a struggle you were involved in before you began to work on A Radiant Future: A French Fission?

I was a young adult at the time of the Chernobyl catastrophe, in April 1986, and that obviously played a part in my awareness—as was my discovery of the region on Cotentin, in Basse-Normandie, an extraordinary peninsula which is home to the reactors in Flamanville and the factory called a “reprocessing center” in La Hague. I was deeply affected by seeing the combination of this fascinating natural setting and an omnipresent but almost invisible nuclear industry.

But in a certain sense, this preoccupation with nuclear hibernated for a while until I began work on what would become my project called “blue-white-red,” a theatrical triptych on the specialties of our “terroir”: oil, nuclear and arms. At the start, I wanted to work on the financing of the parties of the Fifth Republic, and particularly on the party which became a permanent majority—the Gaullist Party—the one that created a “république gaullienne” that it could uphold and manage ad vitam aeternam. 

In the beginning, I wanted to understand how the Gaullist Party and the Gaullist République functioned, how the latter assured the financing of the former. Little by little, working on this question, I realized that three subjects were always there: oil, nuclear and arms. Thus the idea became apparent: each of these subjects should be treated separately in different plays. Naively, without understanding how much work was involved, I thought I would finish this vast project in three years. I just told myself “I’ll work on Elf for six months, then I’ll perform it for six more; I’ll work on nuclear for six months, then perform it for six months; etc.” At the same time, I had to earn a living by other means, which meant taking minor roles in cinema. During most of the time I was working on Elf, the Pump of Africa, that’s how I functioned. Small jobs helped me hold it all together, and then I realized I was earning a modest living by the play itself.

You began working on Elf, the Pump of Africa, in 2003, at the height of Chirac’s time of triumph…

In my mind, I saw the play as an anti-Chirac war machine, anti-RPR. I felt an urgency, a responsibility—to make a blockade. But the motivation came from farther back at the beginning of the millennium, in the formulation of an alternative to globalization. It also came from the awareness of the many ways labor laws were under attack. I could see that behind these moves a new reality was being planned. I said to my friends in the struggle, “They’re coming after our job security. We have to take up arms and engage our adversary.”
I believe that these affronts say a lot about the state of our society, especially since as a reaction, workers launched a lot of great initiatives. There was a real shake-up, with a lot of interesting projects happening. I remember especially one guy who dramatized a recalculation of all subsidies and expenses: he showed what they really were with graphics and charts. I thought, “Great. We are going to do everything.” It was clear we were on the attack.

With the majority party as a target…

In 2003, I had started to follow all the trials that the RPR [Rassemblement Pour la République, a neo-Gaullist party formed in 1976] was involved in. Whether it was the Elf trial, the trial about non-existent jobs (where Juppe was, in the absence of Chirac, at least condemned for having deceived the sovereign French people while entrusted with carrying out a “democratic public mandate.”). But little by little, as I studied these trials, I understood the subject was much more complex than I had realized. It became apparent how everything was connected: one had to be interested in arms to understand how the press functioned, in civilian nuclear to understand military nuclear, and French Africa [Françeafrique] to know how the majority party was financed, and so on. So I widened my field of inquiry, always wanting to be really aggressive in my desire to confront the way this République functions.

There is something a little quixotic in your work, like you’re a solitary man tilting at windmills… Is this why you work solo?

Not at all! I work solo because it costs a lot less, because I’m not subsidized. Working solo annoys me a little. Elsewhere, in radio and in theater, I worked for a long time collectively. I always worked with my close friends: Sylvie Gravagna, Michel Cochet, everyone in the Cabarets de Charlie Noé. [1].

But a word about this “being alone on the stage.” It wasn’t really a choice as much as a necessity. I had no way to do it otherwise. Putting on a piece of theater requires money. You have to pay the actors, the technicians. It’s an actual business enterprise. When I created Elf, the Pump of Africa, I didn’t have a cent. And this type of subject doesn’t captivate the people who subsidize the arts.

The simplest solution was to do everything myself. I told myself, “Let’s see if I can get by with a shoestring budget and manage everything myself.” That meant tackling the subject, research, direction, promotion, sales, lighting, stage management etc.

It took a while. During the first twenty or thirty showings of Elf, the Pump of Africa, I did absolutely everything. I felt I was going crazy. I played all the characters, but I also organized the touring, the sales, and the technical aspects of the show. For the lighting, for example, I had installed a small system behind the curtains upstage, and I controlled them each time I exited for a few seconds. It was unmanageable. I decided I really needed someone to handle the technical and administrative stuff. Someone else just had to do it. Then I was fortunate to meet Erwan Temple, who became my collaborator. This allowed me to concentrate on playing the roles and improve my performance.

On the stage, it really gelled. I was able to really bring to life, on my own, all these diverse characters. And for the first time in my life I had a show that didn’t cost anything to put on. My companion, Hélène Billard,[2] took charge of the music playing cello, and that was it. It took off. I performed the show once, twice, ten, thirty times… eventually we reached 400 performances.

Now, with A Radiant Future: A French Fission, I no longer feel “alone on the stage” because I asked a splendid musician, the bassist Eric Chalan to work with me. He or Hélène Billard accompanies me behind the big screen on the set. On this big screen we project the video images and lighting produced by Erwan Temple. The characters were developed under the precious guidance of Nathalie Brücher. For someone supposedly working alone on the stage, it’s starting to get crowded, isn’t it?

But still, you are playing all the characters. This makes us think of the master of the genre: Philippe Caubère.

I discovered his work at that time. I didn’t know it before. Perhaps I shouldn’t admit this, but I’m not very well-cultured in the theater. Going to the theater costs a lot of money, and I don’t make much. Before I became an adult, I went to the theater only once during a school trip. Furthermore, shows are performed at night, and when I’m working I don’t have time to see the work of others.

But because I was told that I’m doing something similar to the work of Philippe Caubère, that I was using a “grammar of performance” similar to his, I finally went to see one of his shows. It is true that he is fascinating. What a great actor! And what a great use of space. The man is a dancer.

You may not be a dancer, but you manage a vast undertaking of documentation before writing your plays. How do you proceed?

My basic dogma is very simple: I go find the information and I report it to the audience. Theater consists of just taking the public by the hand and not browbeating them. I have an ambition to speak to everyone, a desire which our institutions lack. I always wanted to perform elsewhere, outside of theaters, in order to not always be facing the same, often stereotypical, segment of the public. So the idea is simple: since people don’t go to the theater, the theater will go to them. From 2002 to 2004, I participated with Antoine Chao, at Grenier de Lutz, de Sylvie Gravagna. It was an ensemble of spectacles and events, but also reporting and radio plays, all based on the memory of one imaginary family called Pantin as they immigrated to the suburbs of Paris. Everything was staged in schools and prefab trailers. Today, I continue to practice a form of militant theater, with the prices posted in chalk whenever various groups sponsor one of my shows.

This is how I try to reach as much of the public as possible. And above all, I don’t convey nonsense. For Elf, the Pump of Africa, I went to the Elf trials, which lasted four months, from March to July 2003, three days per week. I hardly missed a single day. In the beginning, I was thinking about making a fictional-documentary, in the form of a radio show, as part of the project Ephemeral Frequencies started by Antoine Chao.[3] Because recording devices are not allowed in court, I wanted to take notes and then turn them into a script for radio. This is when I got the idea of doing it on stage.

In your shows, do you practice a form of documentary?

Not a “form of.” I think it is a documentary! For Elf, as it is for A Radiant Future, all the dialogs are verbatim, and everyone is named. That’s the principle: I think it is essential to name the adversary, and that obliges me to be rigorous. I identify with the famous slogan: “Don’t hate the media, become the media.” All my work is driven by this desire to become media, to attempt to explain the world. I also lead an inquiry, in the journalistic sense of the word, but instead of broadcasting it on the radio or in the press, I become the means by which an intelligible documentary comes to life. The idea is to put theater where it doesn’t presently exist, and to integrate it with political reflection.

You are situated at the frontier of theater and militancy?

For me, they go together, even if the audiences often differ. I don’t feel comfortable claiming to be an artist. I see myself more as an artisan who refines content and form.

When I began doing Elf, the Pump of Africa, many theater people told me that this wasn’t theater. According to them, it was more documentary. I had to wait until the 200th performance for a member of the establishment to allow me to perform in her theater. The possibilities of this genre then multiplied, and the same persons who had denied that I was a man of the theater started to speak with interest about my work.

So there is a divide between what you do and “proper” theater?

As a spectator, I go to theater that I feel passionate about, that I admire—that which helps me understand the world. It has to be interested in life and not be merely solipsistic.

But this is not how one finds the necessary support to produce a play. In France, theater is Culture—it even has a minister! And the institutional structures don’t necessarily dream about supporting artists who criticize institutions. Instead, they concern themselves with their mission of deciding what defines Culture and Art, and propagating these throughout the country. We must remember that when General de Gaulle created the Ministry of Culture, with André Malraux as the head, the curtain was being lowered on the Ministry of Colonies. The result: the functionaries of the old ministry were reassigned to the new one. And they brought with them certain quaint habits. This is why they always live with a sense of mission to bring good news to the ignorant natives. But they don’t look into themselves, and don’t pay respect to local cultures.

Frank Lepage describes very well this cultural system in Gesticulated Conferences. He really deconstructs the whole thing from the inside. He finds there is a “Qultural Machine” (insisting on the capital Q) that drives itself. He is right. This system is headed for its ruin.

But all is not dark, fortunately. Resistance is still alive. For example, I belong to a reading group called Words Discovered, created by the actor and director Michel Cochet. It has about 100 members all connected in one way or another to theater. We exchange texts that we are reading, discussing, criticizing and sometimes staging. The sole purpose is to help new authors discover what they have to say.

I want to stress that we sometimes receive some impressive political texts. There have been even more in the last four or five years (unfortunately, the cultural system doesn’t necessarily give much funding to these texts). This makes me believe that things are starting to shift.

It takes time, a bit like it does to prepare a show…

It’s always a long process. It comes down to the work of documentation: as I get into a subject step by step, an entire network of people, resources and relationships becomes apparent. The general outline becomes progressively clear until I finally begin to understand what is at stake. It takes patience. I started working on nuclear as soon as the preparatory work on Elf, the Pump of Africa was done—that is, after 2004. For seven years I systematically collected documents, articles and books on the subject.

And you also went out to make contacts with…

Theater is a physical experience, which raises an essential question: how can one put flesh and bones on concepts and subjects that are so austere? How can they be incarnated?

To do this, I had to feed myself with encounters and information. In short, I had to give it life. For example, I went to thirteen public debates[4] concerned with the construction of an EPR reactor in Penly. I also attended numerous antinuclear meetings—and to be frank they were sometimes really boring. I watched every documentary I could get my hands on. I even met with public relations officers for Areva and EDF [Electricité de France] to pose very naïve questions. That’s one way to understand how things work. Finally, I interviewed people from the IRSN (Institut de radioprotection et de sûreté nucléaire) and the ASN (l’Autorité de sûreté nucléaire) and I visited the nuclear power plant at Penly.

And it was because of what you saw at the public debates that you decided to focus on the fate of the subcontracted workers?

At the first of the thirteen public debates in Dieppe something happened that the organizers had not expected. It was the raising of a question about these workers. They are not EDF employees, but they work for EDF all the same. They are employees of a subcontractor, which might also be subcontracted by another subcontractor, and so on up the chain. At this debate, a few of these guys protested: “It’s a scandal. You say nothing about us!” They said it in a way that was very raw and touching, but almost inaudible. They aren’t accustomed to speaking out, and they speak in very technical terms. I didn’t understand much, but their emotion struck me. There was something about seeing these subcontractors show up here, expressing themselves very awkwardly in front of these public relations professionals. This made me very interested in them.

So this subject is in the play as the reading of a letter written by Daniel Luengo. He is a subcontracted worker in the nuclear industry, and for several years he has been denouncing the working conditions that EDF imposes on thousands of his colleagues. Under crushing pressure, these people do the maintenance operations on reactors and take on the highest health risks, while EDF has no concern for them. The letter by Daniel Luengo is very moving. How could it not be? My job as an actor is just to let his words be heard.

You also incarnate the subject by showing us a gallery of portraits—that of Pierre Guillaumat, for example, was particularly effective.

It’s not always easy. The text for this character, one of the key figures in the nuclear story, didn’t come together until the last moment. It was only after grinding through every sense of the material in the play that I realized that I should perhaps use the interview that I had read in Damocles [5], a defense journal. Then it struck me to what extent he had played a pivotal role in everything that concerns oil, nuclear and arms.

So Pierre Guillaumat is the human element that links the three subjects that I work on. In Elf, the Pump of Africa, he is mentioned only twice, even though he created Elf and managed the oil company from 1962 to 1977 and never ceased his efforts to preserve the colonial French empire for the sake of oil. In A Radiant Future, he appears as a key figure: he was the general administrator of the CEA (Commissariat à l’énergie atomique française) from 1951 to 1958, and he supervised the French atomic bomb project. And, in my future play on arms, he is there again. He was Minister of the Army from 1958 to 1960 in the midst of the Algerian war.

Presenting these figures isn’t enough. You also have to bring them to life on the stage, give them a physical presence.

Actually, it really takes some time. In A Radiant Future: A French Fission, there are twenty-three characters, and I had to spend a few days on each one. And on the stage, there has to be a smooth transition from one to the other. It’s not always the case, but sometimes I have to re-invent them.

In truth, I’m not really alone when I play these characters. I realized I have a partner: the public. That’s because it takes several performances for me to really get a grip on the play, even if I have mastered its technical aspects.

Once on the stage, the trick is to let go. It’s not me leading the vessel. It escapes me. My task is to work on technique and make myself available as a vector for the play. That can be tricky. For example, the physical difference between two characters that I play, Joseph Dupuis, director of the EPR at Penly, and Didier Houi, the moderator of the public debate, wasn’t apparent to me. These are men cut from the same cloth, from the same milieu, and they don’t have very interesting voices. So I had to find some way to differentiate them.

After a while, I put my finger on it. It was a kind of discomfort. Didier Houi always seemed to be bothered when he spoke. This was because he had his ass between two stools: he believed in his democratic mission, but he also knew that his role was a sham. He admitted it elsewhere off record. The decision to construct the new reactor had already been made at the Élysée [executive branch]. But he continued with the charade anyway.

He belongs to that class of professional speakers that you mentioned earlier?

Didier Houi was rather like a dinner host. He manages the Arpe (Agence régionale pour l’environnement) in Midi-Pyrenees, so he is not necessarily pro-nuclear. The debate commission is not stupid. By using someone neutral they can neutralize a lot of criticism. They can say, “See! It’s not all decided in advance.” Except there are machinations in the background all directed by EDF. It’s EDF that finances the public debate and sets its parameters.

I really became aware of this at one of the thirteen debates. I was sitting in the amphitheater, just behind one of the EDF people playing a key role in design of the debate over Penly. He was leading the ensemble as a producer with his fingers on the purse strings.[6] While a man was explaining to the crowd, in plain language, what an EPR reactor was, I started to get interested in a little binder the EDF man was holding. I could see what he had written there. I could see that the statements made to the public had been planned with extreme precision. It wasn’t a general outline. Everything had been planned almost down to the last word. The script even included language errors and false starts like, “Yes, well, um, you’re going to tell me…”

This is what I mean by professional speakers. Their text is ready, and the interpretation has been thoroughly worked over. They’ve already repeated this public debate. It too is like a piece of theater, except they don’t present themselves as actors. And they have in front of them people who are tired, coming after a day of work, using their free time to inform themselves or struggle. The imbalance is striking.

And do the inhabitants of the region come out in big numbers?

In Dieppe, there are already six reactors in the area, in Penly and Paluel. And the commission is supposed to ask them if they want one more? But they sort of don’t give a damn, right? At the discussions I heard people say often, “Six reactors or seven. What’s the difference?”

In any case, not much was done to make people turn out. To advertise the debates, there was an announcement in the local paper, one poster among a dozen on the notice board outside the community center. Me, I wouldn’t risk advertising for a performance this way. I would want to be as obtrusive as possible. A debate of this importance should at least be broadcast on a public service channel.

This reminds me of one meeting when the subject of potassium iodide pills came up. Afterwards, a man came up to me and said, “I’m the mayor of town X, a little village a few miles from the reactor. You said something there about potassium iodide pills. What are they?” This village mayor, living just over ten kilometers from a nuclear power plant, had never heard of this way of defending oneself against thyroid damage during a nuclear catastrophe. That’s because in France only persons living less than ten kilometers from a reactor need to be given potassium iodide pills. Yet the WHO (World Health Organization) says this distance should be 500 kilometers. This enormous difference is quite revealing.

Of a collective indifference?

For sure! When I started in the years 2000-2010, to speak to my friends about my interest in staging a play about nuclear, they said to me, “Why do you want to bother with that? It’s a lost cause. And anyway, nothing has happened.” They reproached me for being out of step with the times.

The Fukushima catastrophe happened the very month when I was doing a first run of A Radiant Future. All of a sudden I was doubly out of step with the times because I was speaking about nuclear without mentioning Fukushima. It wasn’t the topic of my play anyhow, but I finally added a bit by using the statement Sarkozy made after the catastrophe. He explained that those who predicted the demise of nuclear were asking for nothing but a return to the Middle Ages.

The catastrophe certainly provoked a certain interest in the atomic energy question. Five months after Fukushima, the sociologist Francis Chateauraynaud published a study showing that between March and July 2011 more words had been printed on nuclear energy than in the entire preceding decade.[7] But to be frank, I believe that this opening has already closed again. Now, at the beginning of 2012, the catastrophe is already off the radar. Until the next one?

There will at least be your work that broaches the subject. Was it hard to immerse yourself in the arcane knowledge of things atomic?

I had a lot of trouble understanding how nuclear energy works. I realized I knew absolutely nothing about science, and high school courses were a distant memory. So it took me a long time to relearn things until I got the general principle. And this is what I concluded: Nuclear energy is amazing! To succeed in using the energy that constitutes the atom in order to permit people to boil water. It’s pure genius! If, of course, we don’t consider the dangers. Bernard Laponche, who worked in reactor physics at the CEA before becoming a figure in the anti-nuclear struggle, often said that nuclear was the most dangerous method of boiling water. Once you realize that, you have to ask yourself, “Is it really necessary to boil that much water? Do we have to spend so much on stupid electric radiators?”

What do you think?

To know whether nuclear is useful to the economy, you can consider this fact: Japan operated 54 nuclear reactors until March 2011 [6] but they have all been shut down since that time.[8] The Japanese economy still carries on well enough. As for Germany, which lowered its electricity consumption by 30% over ten years, it doesn’t give the impression of being a low-performing European country. If that’s a return the Middle Ages, there are worse fates. And I haven’t even mentioned the twelve members of the European Union who don’t use nuclear at all. Related to this, it’s worth remembering that in spite of a large number of reactors (150) nuclear supplies only 15% of European electricity needs. If we can do without it, why don’t we try? The French Court of Audit (La cour des comptes) which is hardly made up of anti-growth zealots, came to the same conclusions. In January 2012,[9] it published a report showing it would be as expensive to shut down nuclear energy as to continue it. It even states that the choice between the two is a political choice.

I think we should immediately stop the French nuclear complex, and by doing so we would avoid great troubles. When you look at a map of Chernobyl fallout and compare it with the size of France, you realize the dimensions are about the same. If you could guarantee me that an accident won’t happen, I’d take the risk, but everything changes when the statistics show that a major catastrophe happens once a decade. Bernard Laponche and Benjamin Dessus, president of Global Change, explained it in June 2011 in an article published in Libération, concluding, “Rather than continuing to calculate surrealistic probabilities of events occurring, events which we can’t even imagine—as was the case with Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima—isn’t it time to take account of the reality and draw lessons from it. The reality is that the risk of a major accident in Europe is not so low. It is actually a statistical certainty.” Couldn’t we from now on avoid this major problem by ceasing to use that which produces consequences beyond our control?

We always prefer to believe that the worst will not happen. And we prefer to hypnotize ourselves by what we say among each other because we don’t want to tell ourselves, for example, that the nuclear power plant at Nogent is 80 kilometers from Paris and we couldn’t evacuate the region in the event of a serious problem. Everyone tries to accommodate himself to this reality.

Were you trying to prove something with A Radiant Future?

Frankly, I was thinking of doing more on the relations between politics and the industry, but in the end I didn’t do it. I didn’t talk at all about how the political parties are financed, as I did in Elf, the Pump of Africa. I didn’t touch on Bouygues, either, the company that builds nuclear power plants and manipulates public opinion with TF1 [a national television network]. After all, I regret that I covered only a few topics in the play. But how else could I do it?

At one point, I set a limit of a certain number of words: there are 13,000 and that corresponds to two hours on the stage. That indicates that there is enough for three main themes to be covered in A Radiant Future, such as the link between the terrorist attacks of February and March 1986 in Paris and Iran’s nuclear project, which involved Eurodif [the French uranium enrichment plant]. It’s something that’s not very well known. At the end of the play, I enumerate the attacks committed as a litany that sounds a bit like a chant.

I use this device twice during the play. The first time is when I list all the French reactors, which are supposedly the product of our energy independence and technological inventiveness. Yet in fact they were all built under license from Westinghouse—a reality that is almost never mentioned, so I settle for listing the reactors one by one. The second litany comes back to the link between France and Iran during this time of the attacks, attributed at the time to “dangerous islamists.” This list of the dead and wounded is, by the end, very hard to listen to. At the conclusion of it, the voice of Pierre Guillaumat returns saying, “There is no relation between civilian and military applications of nuclear technology.” It’s another way of saying “to be continued” at the end.

At the start of the play, you put the emphasis on military applications with Guillaumat, with the bomb… You stress how much the civilian and military pursuits are linked, how the former follows from the latter.

This is another thing that is hardly discussed. I noticed this particularly when I followed the members of the Mouvement de la Paix [7] who met at the UN in New York. There was even a delegation of elected officials, some of them from the PCF (parti communiste français).[10] I asked some of them what they were doing there, and they told me they were opposed to military applications of nuclear. But when I asked them about the nuclear power plants in their districts and told them about the links between civilian and military, they withdrew very abruptly, saying, “OK. That’s enough. I see what you’re trying to do.” I was even insulted by a few of them. This is because the discourse of the PCF, before Fukushima, was very simple on the subject. It was “nuclear is wonderful,” perhaps because EDF contributes so generously to the unions affiliated with the PCF. It is a subject that they are forbidden to discuss. The link between civilian and military is taboo. If you go through Areva’s financial reports carefully and look for the numbers related to their military activity, you’ll wear out your eyes with this wasted effort. But there must be a place where they built the bomb, right?

I believe we cannot comprehend our République if we do not apprehend its relationship with Africa, oil, nuclear and arms. We also cannot comprehend it if we don’t grasp why it is so rare in this country to speak ill of Bolloré, Bouygues, Lagardère, Dassault or Areva, simply because they provide jobs and industrial activity.

Theater can do this: help us understand the world we inhabit. Better still, it must.

Interview conducted by Jean-Baptiste Bernard


[1] From 1998-2003, the Charlie Noé Company, founded in 1992 by Sylvie Gravagna and Nicolas Lambert, produced 15 shows as cabarets combining contemporary authors, songs and dance. This project was revived in 2010 under the name Nouvelle Revue Vivante, appearing regularly at La Java, in Paris.

[2] Both play instruments fabricated by Yves Ducloux, a luthier cabinetmaker who lives on the slopes of Mt. Ventoux.

[3] Ephemeral Frequencies is a pirate radio station having as its goal to “convey its message to those that the media do not see.”

[4] The procedure for public debates was created by the law of February 2, 1995. It instituted an authority responsible for conducting debates, la Commission nationale du débat public. The law charged this commission with the duty to involve the public in “the elaboration of projects concerning management or equipment having an impact on the environment or on land management.” To carry out this mission, a commission for public debate is assembled for each project in question. It must hold a certain number of meetings open to all before producing a report which is purely advisory.

[5] In the dossier “CEA, a Half Century of Nuclear Power,” in the journal Damoclès, Autumn 1995.

[6] A million euros in salaries and relocations etc…

[7] See the chronicle “The Meaning of the Irreversible: Chronicles of Civilian Nuclear Technology after Fukushima.” http://socioargu.hypotheses.org/2447

[8] The last Japanese nuclear reactor was turned off in May 2012. But Japan has not given up the prospect of restarting reactors in the future.

[9] “The Costs of the Electronuclear Infrastructure.” Thematic public report, January 2012.

[10] Still active today, the Mouvement Pour La Paix [sic] is an organization founded by Frédéric Jolie-Curie in the 1950s. Translator’s note: the group is also known as Mouvement de la Paix (Peace).

No comments:

Post a Comment