This article examines the emergence of an unusual coalition of opponents and proponents of nuclear power, united in their insistence that the EU's high-level radioactive waste (HLW) be disposed of within the EU, and in their opposition to the export of HLW beyond the EU. We argue that this odd coalition is best understood by considering the waste disposal issue within the context of the industry's entire production chain. The activist-industry consensus represents a coalition of “baptists and bootleggers, once removed” brought together not by opposition to HLW exports per se, but rather by the intersection of the issue of radioactive waste disposal with that of nuclear power generation. For quite different reasons, both partners believe that internalizing the EU's radioactive waste is more likely than export to advance their respective goals, be it the expansion or elimination of nuclear power.

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