Uranium leak prompts ban on river use

Residents in the popular French tourist region of the Vaucluse were warned not to swim or fish in two rivers on Wednesday after uranium leaked from a nuclear site.

The French nuclear firm Areva said the leak, from a factory that handles uranium-contaminated materials, was smaller than initially thought, but a green group were quoted saying the radioactivity released into the environment was at least 100 times higher than the fixed limit for that site for the entire year. 

Nuclear power comprises 87% of France’s electricity production, and president Nicolas Sarkozy has prioritised exporting nuclear expertise worldwide.

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