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Nuclear Europe, Round N

Posted in France,Nuclear,UK by Cheryl Morgan on the July 4th, 2011

At the end of last week the UK government found itself with considerable egg on its face when someone leaked a bunch of emails showing that the Energy Secretary, Chris Huhne, was apparently colluding with the nuclear industry to put a positive spin on the Fukushima disaster in order to forestall public unease about new nuclear build in the UK.

Huhne is a member of the minority Liberal Democrat party in the Uk government. His party colleagues are largely anti-nuclear, and permission for LibDem MPs to abstain on any votes on the issue was specifically negotiated as part of the coalition agreement. Understandably Mr. Huhne’s party colleagues are not best pleased with him.

Meanwhile the French have run into their own problems. The nuclear safety inspections I mentioned last week turned up 32 separate safety concerns at EDF’s Tricastin plant in Drôme in the Rhône valley. Two days later the plant obligingly suffered an explosion, sending a thick cloud of black smoke into the sky. The problem was not associated with the reactors, and French police have confirmed that no radioactivity has been released into the environment. Nevertheless, the British newspapers are making a meal of the story. Doubtless their colleagues around Europe are doing the same.

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