More details are emerging about just what happened in the aftermath of the leak at the Tricastin nuclear site in southern France last week where thousands of litres of a uranium solution reached local rivers.

While local residents are still not able swim and fish in the rivers, the French nuclear safety authority (ASN) have criticised Areva subsidiary Socatri for their handling of the leak.

Though the leak took place on Monday evening, it was not reported until Tuesday morning. Leak prevention measures at the plant were found to be substandard. A previous leak at the plant had been ignored by Socatri.

Which all prompts the question: if this is Areva’s record on safety at nuclear sites, how did they win the contract to clean up Sellafield in northern England, the most radioactive site in the UK? How big a disaster does Areva have to cause before they are no longer given these jobs?

And how big a disaster is needed to stop governments promoting nuclear energy at the cost of clean renewable energy options? We don’t even want to think about it.