French Uranium Spill Shows Nuclear Is Not Safe

French Uranium Spill Shows Nuclear Is Not Safe

Contact: Nick Berning, (202) 222-0748

With two rivers closed, spill undermines U.S. nuclear lobbyists’ claim that France is nuclear utopia

FRANCE—Nearly 8,000 gallons of radioactive waste spilled from the Tricastin nuclear site Wednesday, forcing the closure of two French rivers and threatening human populations and the environment.

The spill comes at a time when many U.S. nuclear lobbyists are pointing to France as a supposed nuclear utopia, and undermines that claim, said Erich Pica of Friends of the Earth.

“Last summer it was radioactive waste spilling into the sea in Japan, last month it was a leak of crucial coolant at a reactor in Slovenia, and now we learn of an accident in France, the supposed utopia that nuclear power industry lobbyists want the U.S. to emulate,” Pica said. “This spill should knock down the myth that France’s dependence on nuclear power is a role model for the U.S. to follow. Nuclear energy is dangerous. It is also extremely expensive. There are better alternatives—wind, solar, and energy efficiency at the top—and we should be pursuing those instead.”

More information about yesterday’s leak in France is available here from United Press International.



Friends of the Earth ( is the U.S. voice of the world’s largest grassroots environmental network, with member groups in 70 countries. Since 1969, Friends of the Earth has been at the forefront of high-profile efforts to create a more healthy, just world.