Fears Over Radioactive Waste


Scientists at Le Hague in NormandyIn separate reports this week the environmental group Greenpeace have reported that two radioactive waste storage facilities in France are leaking. In the first report a waste site at Le Hague in Normandy has been found to be leaking into the groundwater which in turn is used by local dairy farmers for their cattle and so entering the food chain. The levels of radioactivity are on average more than 7 times the European safety limit and on agricultural land close to the dump site levels as high as 90 times above the safety limit were recorded in 2005.

"Because of its mismanagement, CSM (Centre Stockage de la Manche) is causing damage to the environment. Repeated incidents have led to a constant release, and as a consequence the ground water and many outlets are highly contaminated with tritium.
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 region
We must note that for a long time there has been a lack of information regarding this chronic pollution, and even now a precise assessment of its impacts still needs to be done. As far as the future situation, it could worsen in the long run because there is no guarantee that the wrappings of the older wastes, which also contain more hazardous elements, will last for long periods of time," said Dr David Boiley, Director of ACRO.

 Meanwhile in the Champagne region of France low levels of radioactivity have been found in ground water less than 10 km from Frances famous Champagne vineyards at the Centre Stockage l'Aube in Soulaine. This dumpsite is not yet filled to capacity but once full it will be one of the largest radioactive waste sites in the World holding more than 1 million cubic meters of radioactive waste including plutonium. In recent weeks several problems have been reported to the French nuclear safety agency including the migration of water through fissures in the storage cells. Greenpeace has contacted the Comita des Producteur de Champagne to warn them of contamination risks.

"We 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," said 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 region."

In recent years plans to build a high level waste facility in the Rhone Valley were scrapped after strong opposition by the wine producers due to the threat to their vines and wine production.

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Fears Over Radioactive Waste
In separate reports this week the environmental group Greenpeace have reported that two radioactive waste storage facilities in France are leaking. In the first report a waste...

Last Updated on Sunday, 17 August 2008 12:51

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