It’s difficult to get enthusiastic over nuclear energy as a low-carbon source of electricity when stories like this keep appearing.
PARIS (Reuters) – Waste from French power stations was being deposited in the open air in Russia, French newspaper Liberation said on Monday.
The paper said 13 percent of French radioactive waste produced by power group EDF could be found in the open air in a town in Siberia to which access is forbidden. The paper said it based its information on an investigation due to be broadcast on TV channel Arte on Tuesday.
EDF’s PR professionals immediately got to work confusing the issue by claiming that it’s not waste but rather spent fuel sent for “recycling.”
“This product is polluting and it contains very little uranium 235 [an isotope necessary for nuclear energy],” Vladimir Tchouprov, head of Greenpeace Russia’s energy campaign, told Libération. “It’s a real pain to use. For us, it is final waste.”
Because EDF is owned by the French state, they also have the other branches of government running interference for them:
Speaking on French radio this morning, junior minister for ecology Chantal Jouanno said an inquiry was necessary in order to “confirm or reject” the allegations.
France gets most of its electricity from nuclear power. The French government is unlikely to uncover anything in its investigation that would threaten the continued smooth operation of this industry.
Many people in Maryland will soon be living in close proximity to a nuclear reactor owned and operated by the French government.