Last month seemed to be all about France and its nuclear nightmare.
The French Government finally agreed to compensate some of the victims of its nuclear testing program. Around 150,000 civil and military workers participated in some way in the testing, and, not surprisingly, many became seriously ill. People from Southern Algeria and Polynesia who were in the areas where the test were carried out will have to apply for compensation payments. (Despite much evidence to the contrary, the government of France has until recently not wanted to officially admit that a link between the testing and any radiation-related illness existed).
ON March 24 Xavier Maniguet, one of the French agents responsible for bombing the Rainbow Warrior in Auckland was himself killed in a place crash. What can you say about that? Unlike two of his associates Maniguet himself was never brought to justice for his part in the bombing and the murder of Fernando Pereira. It must have weighed heavily on his mind as he faced his own death.
The largest shipment of deadly plutonium in history left the French port of Cherbourg destined for Japan and likely to come straight through the Tasman Sea. Greenpeace activists in France have tracked the shipment which contains 1.8 tons of plutonium in Mixed-Oxide (MOX) fuel. This is enough to make 225 nuclear weapons, each more powerful than the bomb that devastated Nagasaki. Another glaring example of the unacceptable risks posed by nuclear energy.
And now, to top it all off, two senior executives at French state energy giant Electricite de France (EDF) have been charged on suspicion of spying on Greenpeace. EDF security chiefs Pierre Francois and Pierre Durieux are charged with conspiring to hack into computer systems including that of Greenpeace in France.
These guys are really on the defensive but that's not really surprising considering the french nuclear success to date.