In what was reported earlier as a minor situation, comes news that a uranium leak from one of France’s nuclear power plants has tainted well water and two rivers 30 miles from the tourist city of Avignon, which is currently hosting an arts festival.
No Fishing Allowed and Drinking Well Water is Banned
According to published reports, the amount of untreated liquid uranium released amounted to 75kg, and was rated as a one on the one-to-seven scale of nuclear accidents. Interesting, just a one, and you can’t drink the water, cannot fish or swim in the two rivers.
The local government is said to have immediately banned the drinking of well water, told residents in Vaucluse not to fish, or eat fish caught from the rivers, ended all swimming and water sports and the irrigation of crops in nearby fields.
How It Happened
It all came about while a tank was being cleaned last Monday night, when 30 cubic meters of liquid containing uranium leaked out of the tank. Officials said 18 cubic meters poured onto the ground and into the nearby Gaffiere and Lauzon Rivers, which empty in to the Rhone. In case you’re interested, and you should be, 30 cubic meters is equal to 7,925 gallons, and 18 cubic meters is equal to 4,755 gallons.
Radioactivity in Water Decreasing
The amount of radioactivity in the water is decreasing steadily, but a French environmental group, the Committee for Independent Research and Information on Radioactivity, said; “the amount released into the environment was at least 100 times higher than the fixed limit for that site for the entire year“.
The release occured at the Tricastin nuclear power centre in Bollene, a plant that’s been operating since 1975. It is one of several that produces about 87% of France’s electricity needs, but like the rest of us, it’s getting older, and humans are at the wheel.
Posts Relative to Nuclear Energy
- Devil’s Advocate: 10 Green Arguments for Nuclear Power
- Three Mile Island Seeks License Extension for Reactor that Didn’t Melt Down
- Does Nuclear Power Compete with Conservation, Wind, Solar and Biomass?
Image Credit: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Tricastin_Nuclear_Power…