Over the last month there have been a catalogue of accidents at the French nuclear site Tricastin-Pierrelatte. We’ve followed all the breaking stories on our new weblog ‘Nuclear Reaction’. Now Greenpeace France has launched two court cases in an effort to find out what’s really been going on at the site.
Greenpeace activists make an unexpected appearance during the opening ceremony of the World Energy Conference.
It's been a heck of a nuclear month in France, here's a timeline
of what we know so far:
- July 7, 11PM, over 74 kilos of
uranium is leaked into the environment from
- July 8, 7AM, eight hours later the
authorities are informed;
- July 8, 1PM, Restrictions on
fishing, bathing and drinking local water are introduced 14 hours
after the accident;
- July 17, investigation of the leak
reveals that there is
more radioactivity present than the leak could have caused.
Further investigation suggests that the military, who stored
radioactive material at the site underground without proper
containment in the 60's and 70's could be to blame;
- July 23, a leaking pipe results in
100 workers being exposed to radioactive particles from a
- July 29, a false alarm results in
120 workers being evacuated, tests show that
45 employees have traces of radiation on them from the previous
Since the first incident the French police have launched an
investigation and the French Environment Minister has ordered tests
of the ground water at all French nuclear power facilities. That's
of little comfort to a community which has discovered that their
water could have been contaminated by radioactive waste for the
last thirty years.
We're suing French power company Areva and its subsidiary
company Socatri for causing water pollution, and for the
abandonment and illegal deposit of waste. Our aim is to bring into
the public eye the circumstances that led to these problems and
expose the terrible safety record of the nuclear industry.
Areva is the 90 percent state owned flagship of the French
nuclear industry, and along with the French power company EDF is a
key part in President Nicolas Sarkozy's plans to spread nuclear
power to the word. Since coming to power Sarkozy has concluded
deals to spread French nuclear technology everywhere from Finland
to South Africa, and from the USA to China.
That Sarkozy is intent on selling this technology to others
while unable to manage it securely at home says it all. Our message
for the President? "Nuclear Power? Non merci."
Blog - Nuclear Reaction
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