Marcoule blast shows the hazards associated with nuclear waste

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The explosion at the French nuclear plant is a timely reminder of the dangers of nuclear energy. It should be another wake-up call for the UK government, says Kate Hudson.

What has taken place at Marcoule shows absolutely clearly that the extreme conditions that prevailed in Fukushima are not a precondition for nuclear accidents and potential disasters.

 

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Above all, Marcoule shows the danger of nuclear waste.

 

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There is no reactor on site at Marcoule – but nevertheless an explosion took place next to a furnace in a nuclear waste storage facility.

This clearly demonstrates the hazards associated with nuclear waste.

Indeed, a number of apparently ‘routine’ accidents have already affected the UK nuclear industry this year.

Earlier this year a leaked document showed that at least three incidents at nuclear facilities at Sellafield, Torness and Hartlepool had to be reported to ministers in the UK in the first quarter of the year alone.

How many more incidents will there be before the government reconsiders its plans for new nuclear power stations?

[pullquote_right]Marcoule clearly highlights the ongoing dangers of nuclear waste and the absolute irresponsibility of creating any more.[/pullquote_right]

We already have a large legacy of dangerously radioactive nuclear waste.

Recent estimates indicate that the UK has over 5 million cubic metres of it. Some of this will remain fatally toxic for hundreds of thousands of years and there is still no long-term solution for what to do with it.

Without doubt today’s explosion is a further wake-up call to the government – should they need one following the Fukushima disaster.

There is no situation in which they can guarantee the safety of nuclear power or nuclear waste. But will they heed the call?

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