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Posts Tagged ‘french water’

Another Hole in Areva’s Nuclear Cheese

Posted by feww on July 18, 2008

Radioactive leaks from a broken pipe at a nuclear fuel plant in southeast France was discovered Friday, the country’s nuclear safety authorities (ASN) announced.

The leaks at Romans-sur-Isere’s FBFC plant in the Drome region, which were caused by cracks in an underground pipe carrying liquid uranium, were “several years old,” Areva said.

“The defective pipe was shut by our teams,” Areva said. [Well, thanks!]

“Results from initial tests show there has been no impact at all on the environment, because the quantity of uranium was very small, in the order of a few hundred grammes,” said ASN spokeswoman Evangelia Petit.

The FBFC plant processes fuel for some of France’s nuclear fleet of 58 reactors, the world’s second largest network, after the United States.

Meanwhile, France’s Energy and Environment Minister Jean-Louis Borloo frenetically attempted to reassure the nation about the incident.

“We mustn’t over-exaggerate,” he said, about 115 such “little anomalies” occur in France’s nuclear industry each year. “This is something which poses no environmental or health risk.” [That’s really reassuring, M. Borloo!]

Following an earlier incident on July 7 in which 360 kg of liquid uranium was discharge into the local rivers at Tricastin nuclear plant, the government had ordered safety tests in the country’s 19 nuclear plants Thursday, just a day before the discovery of latest leak.

It’s not known whether France’s 115 nuclear leaks each year is related to young French oysters abnormal mortality rates!

[Note: Areva has since replaced the manager for the Tricastin plant; however, the position of its Chairman of the Executive Board, Anne Lauvergeon, remains sacrosanct.]

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