FRANCE’S NEW RADIOACTIVE CHAMPAGNE
FRANCE’S NEW RADIOACTIVE CHAMPAGNE
2006-05-30 at 9:48:00 am #15585
Radioactive Champagne in our future?
Champagne should be fizzy, not fissionable.
Champagne region, France
— Ahhh, a fine Champagne. A delicate nose. Full body. Great colour. And
that indescribable sensation when you raise your glass of having your
tongue tickled by …. TRITIUM???
Raise a toast to the French
nuclear industry, whose low-level radioactive waste is leaking into
groundwater less than 10 kilometres (6 miles) from the famous Champagne
at a radioactive waste dumpsite in Soulaine were reported by its
operator, ANDRA, to the French nuclear safety authority on May 24th,
2006. According to their report “the wall of a storage cell fissured”
while concrete was being added to a recent layer of waste.
in the 1980′s, ANDRA stated categorically that their dumpsite would not
release any radioactivity into the environment. But that was when they
were seeking planning permission. Today, the French nuclear authority
is saying “This event revealed a flaw in the conception of the storage
cells of the site.”
waste dump, Centre Stockage l’Aube (CSA) in Soulaine, contains nuclear
waste both from France and abroad. More waste is trucked into the site
every week. Once full, the dumpsite will be one of the world’s largest
with over 1 million cubic meters of waste, including plutonium.
research released last week showed levels of radioactivity leaking from
another dumpsite run by ANDRA in Normandy — at up to 90 times above
European safety limits. That waste has seeped into underground water
used by farmers, with contamination spreading into the countryside and
threatening dairy production.
The Champagne site will receive
a total of 4 thousand terabequerels of tritium — more than three times
the amount of tritium waste as the dumpsite in Normandy.
A nuclear waste crisis out of control
have been told for decades that nuclear dumpsites will not leak and
that the best standards are being applied. In reality the dumpsite in
Normandy is a disaster, and radioactivity is already leaking from the
dumpsite in Champagne,” says Shaun Burnie, nuclear campaigner at
Greenpeace International. “The authorities know they have a problem in
Champagne already, with mistakes in the design. This is only the
beginning of the problem, the bigger picture is that France has a
nuclear waste crisis out of control that is threatening not only the
environment and public health but also the economy of the Champagne
In addition to the low and intermediate waste site in
Soulaine, a new high-level waste dumpsite is being planned in Bure –
also in the Champagne region — in which the most radioactive material
in France would be deposited. Plans to build a high level waste
facility in the Rhone Valley were scrapped a few years ago after strong
opposition by wine producers due to the threat to their vines and wine
“The Champagne producers are facing two nuclear time
bombs – one already leaking at Soulaine, and one planned at Bure. The
wine producers in the Rhone region stood up to the nuclear state in
France and won. The Champagne region needs to act fast before it’s too
late,” said Fred Marillier of Greenpeace France.
Government must stop this madness. The new facility must not accept any
more waste, and an immediate investigation launched into how to stop
further contamination of ground water.”
1,200 tons each year and no place to go
having a nuclear waste crisis the French electricity providers
Electricite de France (EdF) are seeking approval to build a new reactor
at Flamanville, which will increase the amount of high-level waste.
EdF’s nuclear reactors produce 1,200 tonnes of highly radioactive waste
every year. The waste expected from the new reactor would be the most
hazardous waste ever produced in a French nuclear power reactor.
France needs to end its love affair with nuclear power, and raise a glass to safe, clean, renewable energy.