back to article French officials: 'Don't worry about fatal nuclear explosion'

After one person was killed and four injured in an explosion at a French nuclear waste-processing plant, the French government rushed to reassure a citizenry increasingly edgy about nuclear safety. "There is no chemical or nuclear risk as we speak," a French government spokeswoman told The Wall Street Journal. "It's an …

COMMENTS

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  1. Disco-Legend-Zeke

    Alternate

    ...Fatal Explosion "Not Dangerous."

  2. Aaron Em

    Here come the Chicken Littles

    Say it with me: The sky is falling! The sky is falling! We must immediately shut down all operating nuclear reactors, end all processing operations, and replace our entire planet's electrical infrastructure with the power of positive thinking!

    1. Swoop
      Linux

      You beat me to it!

      Yes, you can rest assured that even as I type this the journos and the green lobby are busy attaching the word "nuclear" to the word "disaster", as per usual.

      Penguin, in the absence of a Chicken Little icon.

    2. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

      Where?

      The only hysterics I can see here so far are from those people mocking a ridiculous caricature of anti-nuclear campaigners that they made up themselves.

      1. Swoop
        Facepalm

        Er...no, actually.

        See my earlier post below.

        1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge
          Thumb Down

          Swoop

          Presumably you mean your post that contains a quote and a URL for an article that the quote is suppose to have come from, but which doesn't actually contain the quote.

          Righto.

    3. elderlybloke
      Happy

      Here come the Chicken Littles →

      Aaron Em,

      I think there is time fro us to put our head between our knees, and kiss our bum goodbye.

  3. NoneSuch Silver badge
    Coat

    Don't worry. The anti-nuke crowd will not stop facts getting in the way of a good public fearmongering.

    Grabbing my coat before things get messy.

  4. xperroni
    Alert

    We're all so going to die

    So the explosion was in an oven used to burn low-danger waste, in the middle of a facility long devoid of any active reactors?

    OMG THIS IS WORSE THAN SHERNOBILL!!!1!!!1!!1!1

  5. Ben 50
    FAIL

    How about this for an idea?

    It's funny. All you Pro's have so much in common with the Anti's. You both believe the extremes (it's ALL ok, or it's ALL wrong) and can't be arsed to question your own received beliefs.

    Why not inform yourself about the "grey ground" in the middle from people who know...You know, get a little more perspective? Even if it does mean a little effort.

    It's worth a good trawl through these videos, especially (as an ex-NRC regulator) his appraisal of safety in US plants, and the consequences of particle fallout.

    http://www.fairewinds.com/updates-en

    1. Steven Roper
      Thumb Up

      The problem is

      what I've come to call the "Tug-o-war Effect." What I've observed is that usually, people generally do consider the pros and cons of something, because they have to in order to form an opinion on it - until that something turns into a fight.

      The moment somebody cries "Oh noes! Ban it!", that something then devolves into a ban/don't ban argument, and in order to make their point, each side must extol, with all their might, the evils or benefits of said something.

      Thus, like a Tug-o-war, in which both sides must pull back with all their might in order to have a chance of winning, the arguments become more and more polarised over time as each side tries to gain traction. Eventually there can be no middle ground, because what matters is no longer the central something the fight started over; instead, winning or losing becomes the only purpose of the fight.

      I've observed this effect not only with nuclear energy, but also with climate change, left-right politics, religion and atheism, freedom and safety. As soon as there's a fight over it, the name-calling and hate-slinging begins; the polarisation of the arguments to support either side gets under way, and the first casualty of the war is the middle ground - usually the truth of the matter.

      I know, because I'm often guilty of it myself. It seems to be a basic principle of human nature.

      1. Major N

        Thats because no-one will dare tread in the middle ground, as it is now DMZ and chock-full of land mines.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        The British used to be great with the old "divide and conquer" trick

        I guess the trick is to look for big, indirectly competing interests after the middle ground.

        Terrorism/War on terror -> information gathering agencies [Winner]

        Renewable vs Nuclear -> GAS [winner??]

        Evolution vs Creationists -> right wing politicians [Winner]

        GFC vs all of us -> Banks that started it all [Winner]

        Intelligent Debate vs Irrational Fear mongering -> Media [Winner]

        Of course in practice its never that easy, cause they'll never admit it.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    LOLZ contrary to their own predictions so far it looks like the only waves of hysterical comments on here are from the nuclear fanbois.

    1. Swoop
      Thumb Down

      Wrong!

      '"It shows once again that France has not learnt any lessons from Fukushima," said a spokesman at Greenpeace.' - from The Wall Street Journal

      http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111904353504576566323236433558.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

      Probably the first of many...

      1. Jolyon

        I can't find that quote in the linked article.

        1. Swoop

          Hmm...looks like the whole article has been amended since I cut & pasted that quote. The last paragraph (where the quote originally was) has definitely changed.

  7. Mystic Megabyte
    Mushroom

    Why not have a title?

    Lewis Page is rather quiet but I hear that his new career selling time-share apartments in Fukushima has not really taken off.

  8. asdf
    Thumb Up

    nuclear rules

    Nuclear has a whole lot of advantages. Really the only disadvantage is the whole waste being able to destroy life hundred of thousands of years after we as species go extinct. But hey first come last poisoned.

    1. Aaron Em

      Laughable human chauvinism

      "Really the only disadvantage is the whole waste being able to destroy life hundred of thousands of years after we as species go extinct."

      You really put far too much faith in the technological capabilities of our species! We aren't even equipped to destroy life on Earth *now* -- at most, we can render the biosphere unable to sustain humans and an assortment of other large mammals both terrestrial and marine, and I think even that would be a further stretch than a lot of people imagine.

      So how do you figure we're going to pull it off a hundred thousand years after we've all died off in whatever own-goal catastrophe you no doubt enjoy to contemplate?

  9. nyelvmark

    Tragedy at old peoples' home - police investigating.

    The town of Bournemouth was in shock today following the news that 4 residents died in a single day at just ONE old folk's home in the town. Alice Somebody, aged 87, died of unknown causes late on Friday afternoon. Doris Madeupname, aged 92, died in the early hours of Saturday, and her death was swiftly followed by those of Rob Anybody, aged 94, and Ethel Ethelsson (the well-known 1930's transgender activist), who died a little after noon on Saturday aged 217. Doctors described Ethelsson's death as "unsurprising, under the circumstances", but were unwilling to comment on what those supposed "circumstances" might be. Seasoned observers note that Bournemouth is less than 400km from the notorious Sellafield facility, where orphaned children are known to be regularly coerced into pulling the mine-carts (the Shetland ponies having withdrawn their labour after the hushed-up 1998 nuclear disaster).

    Bournemouth is also less than 3,000 km from Chernobyl, where the worst nuclear disaster of all time happened in 1986. Since Chernobyl, about a billion people have died in the world, and billions more are expected to die in the future.

    Police investigating the deaths refused to rule out the possibilty that unprecedented levels of radiation were responsible for the mysterious deaths.

    Of course, we'll never know, because they never tell us anything, do they?

    1. Andus McCoatover
      Windows

      @nyelvmark

      Thanks for that!! Another good chuckle.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Ban Aerosol Whipped Cream Immediatly!

      It's at least three times more dangerous than Nucular radiations. And here's the Proof:

      The propellant Gas used in squirty Cream is the Highly dangerous (and not at all funny) Nitrous Oxide - the same gas that Killed Three rocket scientists (who are clever people after all) so it's clear that squirty cream propellant kills three times more people than French nucular accidents.

      Sources cited:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nitrous_oxide#Aerosol_propellant

      http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/01/21/scaled_composites_fined/

      [/ironicjoke]

  10. All names Taken
    Paris Hilton

    Eh?

    On the other hand, the pro-nuclear promotion campaign seems to be going far too well to be healthy (must be money in it somewhere?)

  11. heyrick Silver badge

    I live in France

    ...and would welcome some high grade fallout. Could stick it in a jar and use it to replace those horrid energy saving bulbs they're foisting on us. I don't think violet blue will be as pleasing as tungsten orange, but on the plus side they'll run for several thousand years. Can't be bad...

    1. Mystic Megabyte

      @heyrick

      Blue light? Read this:

      http://medicalxpress.com/news/2011-09-white-suppresses-body-production-melatonin.html

      1. heyrick Silver badge
        Happy

        Don't you watch budget horror movies?

        It is colour coded - nuke is blue, toxic waste is green. Both glow. And often make a soft of pulsating noise.

  12. M7S

    Not a nuclear catastrohe? I'm disappointed!

    I was hoping to pick up some of those glow in the dark kittens on the cheap.

  13. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

    Solvents hmm

    Hope they don't put presurised items in there

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Those naughty Gauls!

    Wiggly lines and drifitng back to the past...

    "What boat, we never blew up a boat? Never even been to New Zealand or heard of Greenpeace? Did we say New Zealand? Greenpeace? No we didn't! Never heard of them!"

    Fast forward 25 years...

    "Nuclear explosion you say? Non! Quick! Look at the interesting thing over there!"

  15. dave-p

    This from the country that insisted the Chernobyl dust cloud stopped at the French border with Germany before making tis merry way to the UK.

    I don't mind nuclear in principle, but commercial interests seem to override any public safety interests as a matter of course

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Also did you know that a microwave cooks with huge amounts of RADIATION? yes it IRRADIATES your food! this has been covered up by the government to hide the fact that they are trying to use microwave radiation boxes to slowly kill off the population. That is why the rich get their food cooked by professional chefs in ovens and on hobs etc the old fashioned way, only us poor people get exposed to food that was cooked using RADIATION cooking machines!

      AC because of what happened to the last guy who tried to expose the conspiracy, you didn't hear about it? see, proof!

  16. mhenriday
    FAIL

    As so often when an accident occurs at a fission-power facility,

    we are told by the authorities that there is no risk - which, given said authorities' record for veracity and competence, does, of course, reassure us all, not least Reg contributors, whose iconoclasm seems to stop at the door of nuclear power producers and regulators (often the same persons who've simply made good use of the revolving door). Back in the days of Marie Skłodowska Curie, radioactive substances were marketed as cures for all kinds of ailments - many of us have learned something about ionising radiation since then, but some just keep soldiering on....

    Henri

  17. Mike 137 Silver badge
    Happy

    "don't worry - be happy..."

    Reminds me of the production lines in the movie THX 1138

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Steven Roper - The thought chain...

    "I know, because I'm often guilty of it myself. It seems to be a basic principle of human nature."

    I wonder how much thought went into that last sentence....maybe it's just human nature to leave that part of humanity out...I'm an alien...

    We are taught, from an early age, not to "think" about topics, but to either ingest and regurgitate the information verbatim or we get our "opinions" from our peers; again, without thought.

    For me the largest issue with the nuclear thing is that it creates so much waste that we have no idea what to do with. Well, we have ideas, but many of them are less than ideal. It is like we have half of the nuclear generation puzzle in our hands...we know how to create it, but we can't think of a reasonable way to deal with the waste...when our tech grows up enough, that we can deal with it, then my objections will be removed...in the mean time we are landing our great great great great grandchildren with sh1t.

    If that makes you happy; so be it. I can't dissuade you. I know my feelings on the matter.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radioactive_waste#High-level_waste

    This is our planet. The only one we have access to that we can live on. I'd say we need to think of alternatives. Just as well clever folks are working on that.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    For the hard of googling...

    Alternatives may or may not be coming on line. I hope that pro-nuclear will be seen as an historic absurdity within my life time.

    http://inhabitat.com/solar-energy-from-sahara-will-be-imported-to-europe-within-5-years/

    Don't stop at one link either. Search more. Then ask yourself why it's not happening?

    http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1872110_1872133_1872141,00.html

    All the best with that. In the mean time, carry on being pro-waste :)

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hang on...

    Let me get this right... Solid, aka dense, items with low levels of radioactivity are burnt? Producing gas (not very dense at all) also with low levels of radioactivity... How does this help disposal of the contaminated material, beyond the rather obvious (but not pleasant) "makes it easier to pump out of a chimney and the natives don't seem to mind that as much as us sticking it in an oil drum and burying it down a mineshaft"?

    1. Ross 7

      Was thinking the very same thing - oxidation doesn't have any effect on the nuclear stability of an element. So we go from having items that are relatively easy to handle, to gas/dust/ash that is equally as radioactive as before, but now it's a bugger to handle. Doesn't make a great deal of sense.

      Appears to have been designed by people with no background in physics who were just tasked with "getting rid of this stuff". They thought that burning stuff destroys it so the answer's simple no? lol.

      1. Andydaws

        You've misse the point, chaps....

        the issue is volume reduction. Most contaminants aren't volatile (they're particulates), and are relatively easily trapped in filater systems, if they don't remain in ash.

        This furnace seems to be bieng used for two things. One is burning things like clothing (most with zero contamination), the other is melting scrap into compact ingots.

        Dust and ash isn't a "bugger to handle". It's simply incorporated into concrete, which is then canned before going into disposal

  21. Bernard Mergendeiler
    FAIL

    Overhyped headline

    Reg is very clever and often funny with headlines, but "nuclear explosion" is utterly incorrect and fearmongering. The explosion was an ordinary chemical explosion where radioactive waste was present. It was not at all a "nuclear explosion" ala Hiroshima.

  22. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Meh

    explosion at French nuclear scrapyard

    Well at least they *told* someone that someone died.

  23. NomNomNom
    Mushroom

    its time

    this should be the wake up call. when will our MPs step up to the plate and initiate a full investigation into the dangers of nuclear power? Or are they too busy fiddling expenses?

    We've now had 3 fatal nuclear accidents in a row. The Japanese assured us it was a freak event but now it's happened again in France and the usual tsunami excuse will not wash this time. There was no tsunami involved in the french disaster.

    The Fukitsuma investigation needs to be reopened in light of the French nuclear catastrophe as it now raises the possibility that the japan disaster was not caused by a tsunami at all.

    Countries need to have a long hard rethink of whether nuclear power is worth it and come to the conclusion that no it isnt. For we are literally running out of time.

    peace,

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