Flamanville nuclear outfall to increase

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The French government has given the go-ahead to Electricite de France to increase the amounts of radioactive tritium it discharges into the sea and the air at Flamanville on the Normandy coast.

In future the two power generating nuclear reactors will be able to discharge another 20,000 billion becquerels of tritium per year.

The Flamanville power station operates alongsite the site of the new European Pressurised reactor, which is due to start operating in 2014.

Former Normandy Eurodeputy and long-time anti- nuclear campaigner Didier Anger called on France and EDF Flamanville to respect the discharges London Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic, which was signed by France in 1998.

Known as the OSPAR convention the 1998 agreement specifies zero nuclear discharges into the air or the sea.

Monsieur Anger has now told French newspapers that he is certain that true levels of pollution from Flamanville are at least 150,000 Gbq per year.

Thomas Houdre, director of the Caen division of the state nuclear watchdog ASN, told Agence France Presse that effects of radioactive tritium are 'underestimated' according to the majority of expert opinions.

Tritium is said to present a radiation hazard when inhaled, ingested via food, water, or absorbed through the skin but it remains dangerously radioactively for only fifteen or twenty years.

Other radioactive metals like plutonium, of which more than eighty tons are stored at the Cap de la Hague AREVA nuclear site further up the Norman coast, remain radioactive for millions of years.

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Currently displaying the top 5 comments View all 5 comments
International Law Report Abuse
Posted By: Mark on 27-Oct-2012
What are the International law a that prevent this from occurring? I have family in Jersey Channel Islands and do not like to think about the possibility of my son's getting radiation sickness or worse!

Tritium discharge, Flamanville Report Abuse
Posted By: Mark St Martins on 08-Dec-2010
Becquerels are a measure of radioactive decay - not a measure of wight or quantity. Bearing in mind that 200 becquerels per cubic meter per second is now the safe level established for radioactive decay in Canadian houses is there any way of quantifying exactly what Flamanville is pumping into the sea and shouldn't the media be more explicit in establishing such facts.

Increased radioactive discharges Report Abuse
Posted By: Anne Sandwith (St Martin's, Guernsey) on 12-Oct-2010
I agree with Carol and Ian. I will urge Guernsey deputies to join together with Jersey to express their concerns about the increased levels of radioactive tritium that EDF plan to discharge into the sea. Didier Anger correctly states that this in clear breach of the OSPAR convention. Are we supposed to be reassured that it will 'only' remain dangerously radioactive for 15 to 20 years?

proposed tritium increases Report Abuse
Posted By: Ian Fairlie on 11-Oct-2010
I agree with Carol. These proposed increases in radioactive tritium discharges are dangerous. Already there is strong scientific evidence of increased leukemias among young children living near nuclear power stations. To actually increase nuclear discharges is extremely irresponsible.

Increased radioactive discharges Report Abuse
Posted By: Carole (St. Saviour) on 10-Oct-2010
I hope our elected representatives are going to do something about this huge increase in radioactive waste going into the sea so close to our Island? I hope that our Chief Minister is going to protect Jersey's inhabitants and voice the concerns of his people or will he just ignore this very real threat to our health and safety? My guess is that it will be swept under the carpet with the usual comment "The matter is now closed".

Currently displaying the top 5 comments View all 5 comments

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