Name change for French wine to avoid link with nuclear plant

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

LYON, France (AFP) — A French wine could soon change its name before next year's grape harvest to avoid being associated with a uranium leak at an eponymous nuclear power facility.

"The idea is making progress and I hope it will be achieved before the 2009 harvest," said Henri Bour, president of the Coteaux du Tricastin controlled term of origin, or "appellation d'origine controlee".

"It is only a question of image," he said, adding that any association with the Tricastin nuclear site -- one of the biggest in the world, with four reactors -- was likely to be harmful to local wines.

A uranium leak at Tricastin on July 11 received extensive media coverage, although the authorities said later it had not posed any risk to public health or the environment.

Bour said a name change was first mooted around 10 years ago, but the French nuclear group Areva showed little interest in renaming its facility, about 50 kilometres (30 miles) from Avignon.

A meeting of the AOC administrative council is to be held August 5 to discuss a name change "as a precaution for the image," said Bour, with Grignan -- the name of a local village -- mooted as one possibility.

Posted in |