A man has been killed and four have received burns after the explosion of an incinerator that handles low level nuclear waste (the variety that requires minimal protective clothing, equipment or handling) in France.

The title of my post is borrowed from the headline. Some alternative reporting is provided here. I never wish to downplay tragedy. Workplace fatality and injury, a previous career of mine, is a horrible thing.

It is worth pointing out though that “Deadly Incinerator Incident” would have been a more accurate description. Based on the reporting I have read this appears to be an accident that is sadly too common in a whole variety of industrial settings.

Hopefully,  nuclear opponents will be sensible and avoid using the event inappropriately to push an agenda.  The statements from Greenpeace in the linked articles may suggest this is a foolish hope.


  1. Hopefully, nuclear opponents will be sensible and avoid using the event inappropriately to push an agenda.

    Good luck with that.

    1. Hi, noted. I would be happy to. I have in draft form a post on the very topic of wind in SA. Just let me get over the hump of submitting a proposal and preparing my next two presentations, and I will publish it, now with the additional reference to your post. Thanks for bringing it to my attention, and your core finding is spot on: we can actually see a reduction in GHG. What a concept!!!

  2. Perhaps I am being foolishly optimistic, but I honestly hope that antinuclear activists try to blow the incinerator accident at Centraco (adjacent to, but not actually on the Marcoule site) out of proportion.

    On the Internet, newspapers and yesterday’s television news programs do not disappear. The stories and videos can be mined for dramatic examples of the ignorance of the people who try to use the accident as part of their narrative against nuclear energy. I remain convinced that the truth will eventually win; we just cannot be shy about sharing it as widely as possible and using the tools that technology provides.

    Just think about the implications of the fact that I am living in Lynchburg, Virginia in the United States; commenting on a blog whose owner lives in South Australia, about an incident that happened in an industrial facility in France less than 24 hours ago.

  3. It is a big problem – even unintended distortions. The ABC reported the incident as “just 20km from Avignon”. News alone would have rewritten it as “20km from Avignon”. Apparently the itch to editorialise/sensationalise is irresistable. The “danger” element rather than the location is given.
    Even these small comments add up and reinforce paradigms. I long for a day when the news gatherers do not see themselves as progenitors of “fact”, but simply allow us to make up our own minds

    1. Did you call or email ABC News and call them out on their bias?

      Did you ask them why the deaths of a hundred people in a fossil fuel explosion in Kenya the same day did not get equal reportage?

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