Global warming isn’t the only thing threatening wine. In France, groundwater less than 10 km from the famous Champagne vineyards has tested positive for radioactive contamination, caused by a nearby leaking nuclear waste dump:

“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.”

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Clearly, there are some promises that just can’t be kept. I wonder if Champagne is iconic enough to influence public opinion about nuclear power. In the meantime, bringing a Geiger counter to the next New Year’s bash would be a cool party trick …

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