Monday, September 12, 2011
But don't worry, no radiation was leaked. Yeah, right...
Paul Joseph Watson
An explosion at a French nuclear facility that processes dangerous MOX plutonium has killed one person and injured four others, provoking fear that radioactivity could be escaping into the atmosphere, although officials have played down such concerns.
However, the French government’s complicity in hiding the severity of the 1986 Chernobyl disaster will do nothing to assuage concerns about authorities being honest with the public about the scale of the problem.
“There were no radioactive leaks after the blast, caused by a fire near a furnace in the Centraco radioactive waste storage site, officials said,” reports BBC News.
“It produces MOX fuel, which recycles plutonium from nuclear weapons, but does not include reactors.”
French nuclear watchdog ASN has not explained the cause of the blast, but conceded that, “The furnace that exploded is used to melt waste with levels of radioactivity ranging from low to very high.”
As we highlighted during the Fukushima crisis, Plutonium is the most deadly radioactive isotope known to man, and MOX is two million times more deadly than normal enriched uranium. The Half-life of Plutonium-239 in MOX is 24,000 years and just a few milligrams of P-239 escaping in a smoke plume will contaminate soil for tens of thousands of years.
Although officials are saying that no radioactivity has escaped, a spokesman for France’s Atomic Energy Commission rather unreassuringly said, “For the time being nothing has made it outside,” authorities would be expected to play down the severity of such an event.
Nuclear power accounts for over 70% of France’s energy needs. Any crisis approaching Fukushima proportions would completely cripple the country’s economy.
However, it is important to note that unlike Japan, France is not recovering from a massive earthquake, therefore any necessary measures to secure the facility will be far easier to perform. In addition, France is the leading country in nuclear safety expertise and can call on a vast number of experienced professionals in the field.
France has painful memories of radioactive contamination, and the country’s government has a history of nuclear cover-ups.
During the Chernobyl disaster, French authorities “deliberately suppressed information about the spread of radioactive fallout.” In parts of France, thyroid cancer surged as the population didn’t take steps to protect itself having believed their government that the radiation cloud was harmless.
“Two independent physicists say in the report that the state-run Central Service for Protection against Radioactive Rays (SCPRI) knew of high levels of contamination in Corsica and southeastern France but kept the details under wraps,” reported Expatica.com.