German whistle-blower

26 April 2005

The European Commission has told the European Ombudsman that a German chemist who protested about the “illegal transport and export of radioactive materials” from the Institute for Transuranium, a nuclear research institute in Karlsruhe, had left her protest too late for it to be acted on.

The complaint was made in 2002, five years after the alleged infringements, and the commission said the official concerned had since retired. Brussels defended its action in the case, which involved the shipment of uranium oxide from the facility to the USA, insisting that it had observed the correct procedures and adding that as the German authorities had taken up the case it was not obliged to act further. The commission’s response is being sent to the complainant, Christine Sauer, a former employee of Transuranium, who has until mid-May to decide whether this is sufficient or whether she wants the Ombudsman to take it further.

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