02 June, 2001

Greenpeace: Nuclear waste threatens vines

Nuclear waste found in a wasteground near the town of Soulaine in the most southernly situated area of vineyards in Champagne, the Côte des Bar, threatens the vineyards, says Greenpeace. The responsable authorities, ANDRA, declines this.

Leftovers of radioactive material has been found in the underground less than 10 kilometres from the vines. However, so far no proof has been found, that the wasteground actually has contaminated vineyards, the environmental organisation admits at the winemagazine Decanter.

ANDRA says, that contamination of the groundwater takes place, but is with 17 Bequerel per litre too small to be any threat. The European limit is 100 Bequerel per litre. Jacqueline Eymard of ANDRA says furthermore to Decanter, that as the water flows towards the Northwest and the vineyards are south, the water can never damage the vines.

One million cubicmetres
When the wasteground is completely full, it will be one of the biggest in the world with more than one million cubicmetres of nuclear waste. There has been reports about leaks, says Greenpeace to the German newsagency, dpa.

A crack in one of the waste containers emerged last year as a layer of cement was poured into it to seal the waste. This apperared in a report to the French government, published last year in May. ANDRA just got a "go" to repair the damaged container.

80 percent of the French consumption of energy is provided by nuclear powert.

Read more at Greenpeace and ANDRA.

The official authorisation is here.

The wasteground will be open for visits for those who dare later this month.

På dansk

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