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Shoot: Sampling at Cogema La Hague Reprocessing Plant

GP052
Greenpeace today revealed that Cogema has taken radioactive waste from around its radioactive waste discharge pipe and left it on the seabed, just 250 metres off the public beach where the pipe enters the sea. The waste is in just 7 metres of water. Greenpeace divers found two nuclear waste drums, a filtration chamber and approximately 20 metres of pipe. Measurements, taken under water, show that these items emit dangerous radiation levels, between 100 and 4,000 times background.

The drums and filtration chamber which where discovered today appear to come from Cogema's attempted clean-up at the end of the pipe. "It's already clear that Cogema's operations have little to do with cleaning. Now it appears to be even worse. Instead of removing at least some of the heavily contaminated seabed, Cogema has now chosen to leave the dangerous waste on the seabed. It's absolutely irresponsible behaviour even if it's not a permanent dump site", said Diederik Samsom of Greenpeace.

In June Cogema announced that it wanted to undertake an operation to remove the radioactive crust from the inside of its nuclear waste discharge pipe. Before the operation, Greenpeace called for a full Environmental Impact Assesment. Greenpeace said it did not trust the environmental safety of the removal of the crust from the pipe. However, the French Environment Minister, Dominque Voynet, said she was assured by the safety authorities there would be no release of radioactive material into the environment. Last Tuesday, as Greenpeace returned to resume sampling operations, the French Government admitted that the process had resulted in a spillage of 50 kg of waste on to the seabed.

Divers from Greenpeace discovered that Cogema's so-called cleaning operation had, in fact, resulted in an enormous nuclear mess at the end of the pipe. Greenpeace found that Cogema has built a small industrial site on the seabed, and in a desperate attempt to cover up the real impact of its operations has been trying to remove the nuclear debris from the seafloor. Greenpeace has filed a legal complaint against Cogema's polluting operations.
Aerial Shot of Cogema Nuclear Reprocessor in France
2 Oct, 1997
Aerial Shot of Cogema Nuclear Reprocessor in France
Aerial Shot of Cogema Nuclear Reprocessing Plant in France
2 Oct, 1997
Aerial Shot of Cogema Nuclear Reprocessing Plant in France
Aerial Shot of Cogema Nuclear Reprocessor in France
2 Oct, 1997
Aerial Shot of Cogema Nuclear Reprocessor in France
Radioactive Pollution Sampling in Cap la Hague
12 Sep, 1997
Radioactive Pollution Sampling in Cap la Hague
Greenpeace taking Nuclear Samples on board Rainbow C in France
21 Sep, 1997
Greenpeace taking Nuclear Samples on board Rainbow C in France
Diseased Crab in France
25 Sep, 1997
Diseased Crab in France
Biologist Sampling Crabs in France
23 Sep, 1997
Biologist Sampling Crabs in France
Radioactive Pollution Sampling in Cap la Hague
18 Sep, 1997
Radioactive Pollution Sampling in Cap la Hague
Radioactive Pollution Sampling in Cap la Hague
18 Sep, 1997
Radioactive Pollution Sampling in Cap la Hague
Cogema Divers working on Nuclear Discharge Pipe in France
14 Sep, 1997
Cogema Divers working on Nuclear Discharge Pipe in France
Radioactive Pollution Water Sampling (Cap de la Hague : 1997)
13 Sep, 1997
Radioactive Pollution Water Sampling (Cap de la Hague : 1997)
Radioactive Pollution Banner
27 Sep, 1997
Radioactive Pollution Banner
Radioactive Pollution Water Sampling (Cap de la Hague : 1997)
17 Sep, 1997
Radioactive Pollution Water Sampling (Cap de la Hague : 1997)
Radioactive Pollution Water Sampling
13 Sep, 1997
Radioactive Pollution Water Sampling
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