Côtes du Rhône The Day After The First of Two Nuclear Accidents

Côtes du Rhône – Near Carpentras – July 9, 2008

© Frank H. Jump

Vincenzo and I had the privilege of driving through Côtes du Rhône, France during two nuclear accidents that occurred on July 8th and July 18th at the Tricastin Powerplant near Avignon.

Repeated incidents raise questions about French nuclear safety – By GREG KELLER | Associated Press | Jul 18, 08 2:49 PM CDT

First, an overflowing tub at a French nuclear plant spilled uranium into the groundwater. Then a burst pipe leaked uranium at another nuclear site, raising an alert on Friday.

The two accidents within two weeks, both at sites run by French nuclear giant Areva, have raised questions about safety and control measures in one of the world’s most nuclear-dependent nations, and given fodder to anti-nuclear activists.

Environmentalists said the incidents are a wake-up call, raising doubts about an industry in which France has staked out a leading role internationally.

French nuclear accident raises questions about Libya accord – By Raphael Vassallo

Last week’s accident – which was curiously under-reported in the European media, during the same week when France assumed the presidency of the European Union – took place between Monday 7 and Tuesday 8 July at the Tricastin plant in Bollene, 40km from Avignon, in the heart of the Côte du Rhone wine-producing region. After a plant malfunction, some 30,000 litres of a solution containing 12% enriched uranium overflowed from a reservoir into the nearby Gaffiere and Lauzon rivers.