French downplay years-old uranium leak at nuclear plant
A uranium leak was discovered on Friday in an underground pipe at a nuclear fuel plant in France. Authorities said the leak was probably a few years old, but insisted it really isn’t all that bad since groundwater apparently wasn’t contaminated and the uranium leak was relatively small. However, the reassurances were not quite as comforting to the public as they might have been even just a few weeks ago; another leak was discovered at a different nuke facility earlier this month. On July 7, residents of southern France’s Vaucluse region were told not to drink water from, swim in, eat fish from, irrigate with, or otherwise touch water in nearby rivers or other waterways following a liquid uranium spill at the Tricastin nuclear power plant. The state-controlled nuke-power giant Areva, which owns both facilities, has been heavily criticized for its delay in notifying the authorities of the Tricastin leak and has since fired its plant manager. The French government said it would test the water around all the country’s 59 nuclear plants to ease public fears.