Nuclear renaissance has sprung a leak, or several leaks

Oops. France is the globe's leading nation for the use of peacetime nuclear power.

Oops. France is the globe's leading nation for the use of peacetime nuclear power. Much of its electricity is generated by nuclear plants. So far France has carried a reputation of having well-run, fairly safe nuc plants. And they are often cited by supporters of nuclear power in other nations. Cleaner than coal, always there (unlike wind or solar). dependable. Now comes the "oops" at a most embarrassing time for nuclear industry.

Leaks. Incidents. Suspicions from the normally proud French public. Loss of pretige in other countries.Meanwhile, the spot price on uranium is about ten times higher than it was back in 2000. And now it turns out one French nuclear firm has exceeded its annual allowance for release of long-lasting radioactive carbon-14. Another oops.

France is not alone in its less than glowing, or perhaps over-glowing, summer. In Austria there's been a small plutonium leak at a site run by...the International Atomic Energy Agency!

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None of these incidents have caused any known health problems so far. No repeat of Chernobyl. But in the world of nuclear politics it's all about hearts and minds, and we certainly can graspthe complexity of winning hearts and minds, can't we?

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