Checks ordered at French nuclear sites after leak

Thursday, July 17, 2008

PARIS (Reuters) - Authorities will hold tests at all French nuclear power plants to ensure leaks like the one this month at Tricastin in southern France have not occurred, Environment Minister Jean-Louis Borloo told a newspaper.

Plant operator Areva said earlier this month that 30 cubic meters of liquid containing non-enriched uranium was accidentally poured on to the ground and into a river at the Tricastin site.

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Areva mishandled uranium leak: safety body

Monday, July 14, 2008

PARIS (Reuters) - France's nuclear safety authority (ASN) said on Friday that Areva-subsidiary Socatri had poorly managed a leak of liquid containing uranium that occurred in southeastern France this week.

The nuclear watchdog inspected the site on Thursday.

"The management of the crisis by the company involved has shown omissions in terms of communication to the authorities," the ASN said in a statement.

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URS unit leads team likely to clean up U.K.'s Sellafield nuclear plant

Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Washington Division of URS Corp. was picked as the preferred bidder to lead a group that will clean up and shut down the Sellafield nuclear complex in England.

Sellafield, on the coast of the Irish Sea in Cumbria in Northwest England, is a major nuclear power and reprocessing facility.

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French uranium leak was low level - safety authority

Friday, July 11, 2008

PARIS (Reuters) - France's nuclear safety authority (ASN) said on Thursday it had provisionally classified a leak of liquid containing uranium on a site in southeastern France earlier this week at level one of the INES nuclear scale.

The International Nuclear Event Scale (INES), used to measure the potential danger of incidents at nuclear installation, has seven levels, the lowest of which is zero.

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'Catastrophe Is Nuclear Energy's Standard Operating Procedure'

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Debates about climate change at the G-8 meetings in Japan and this week's mishap at a French nuclear facility have Germans revisiting the benefits and dangers of nuclear energy. Deep national divisions on the issue are reflected on the editorial pages.

Germans are conflicted about nuclear energy, and amazingly so. In fact, according to a survey released Wednesday by the Forsa polling agency, exactly 46 percent of Germans are for -- and 46 percent of Germans are against -- extending the operating life of the country's nuclear reactors past the date 15 years from now when a nuclear phaseout is supposed to be completed.

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French uranium leak smaller than thought-Areva

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

PARIS, July 9 (Reuters) - French nuclear firm Areva said on Wednesday that a leak of liquid containing uranium from a site in southeastern France was smaller than initially thought.

Areva said late on Tuesday that 30 cubic metres of liquid containing uranium, which was not enriched, was accidentally poured on the ground and into a river at the Tricastin nuclear site.

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Accidental uranium waste spill at French nuclear plant

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

MARSEILLE -- An accidental spillage of waste containing uranium occurred Tuesday at one of France's top nuclear plants but authorities said there was no immediate cause for concern, authorities said.

Some 30 cubic meters (over 1,000 cubic feet) of effluents containing 12 grams (easily less than half an ounce) of uranium per liter spilled out at the Tricastin Nuclear Power Centre in Bollene in southern France.

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Suez Picks Up 5% Ownership Interest in Georges Besse II Enrichment Plant

Monday, July 7, 2008

French energy major Suez and nuclear engineering company Areva have signed an agreement, giving Suez a 5% ownership interest in the company that holds the Georges Besse II uranium enrichment plant.

The facility, built by Areva at the Tricastin site in France's Drome department, is based on ultra centrifuge technology. Suez, through its energy services business line, is building the electrical installations, and supplying the fluid management systems and the HVAC and process cooling equipment of the new plant, which is scheduled for startup in 2009.

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Taxpayers to back Sellafield £7bn clean-up

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Taxpayers are being forced to indemnify the winner of the £7.5bn contract to decommission the highly toxic Sellafield nuclear site in Cumbria against an accident because the bidders are based overseas. The preferred consortium will be announced on Friday.

Four consortia are vying for the contract, which could be worth £20bn over its lifetime, including US engineering giants Fluor, Bechtel, Washington Group and CH2M Hill, as well as French nuclear power group Areva and the Japanese firm Toshiba. UK companies Serco and Amec are also members of overseas-led consortia.

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European renewables lobby sues commission over Finnish nuke

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Greenpeace Finland said in a statement Monday that Brussels-based lobby the European Renewable Energies Federation had brought an action before the European Court of Justice challenging the European commission's September 2007 declaration that a 570-million-euro guarantee granted by Coface, a privatised company that continues to act in its eponymous role as the French government's export guarantee agency, to Finnish utility Teollisuuden Voima (TVO) did not constitute illegal state aid.

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