Areva subsidiary fined over uranium spill

04 October 2011

A French court of appeals has issued Areva subsidiary Socatri with fines and damages totalling over half a million Euros for polluting groundwater after a 2008 spillage of uranium solution from a tank at the Tricastin site, AFP reported. The Nimes court of appeals ruled that in addition to the main €300,000 ($396,000) fine, the company must also pay damages of €20,000 ($26,000) each to various associations - including antinuclear pressure group Sortir du Nucléaire, Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth - that appealed against an earlier court ruling acquitting the company of water pollution, plus €10,000 ($13,000) each to 12 local residents who had also brought proceedings against the company. The appeal followed an October 2010 ruling which cleared Socatri of water pollution but fined it €40,000 ($53,000) for late reporting of the incident to nuclear safety authorities. The company has five days from the date of the verdict in which it can lodge an appeal with France's supreme court of appeals, the Cour de Cassation.