French wine to change to avoid link with nuclear plant

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Coteaux du Tricastin could soon change its name to avoid being associated with a uranium leak at a nuclear power facility.

25 July 2008

LYON - A French wine could soon change its name before next year's grape harvest to avoid being associated with a uranium leak at an eponymous nuclear power facility.

"The idea is making progress and I hope it will be achieved before the 2009 harvest," said Henri Bour, president of the Coteaux du Tricastin controlled term of origin, or "appellation d'origine controlee".

"It is only a question of image," he said, adding that any association with the Tricastin nuclear site - one of the biggest in the world, with four reactors - was likely to be harmful to local wines.

A uranium leak at Tricastin on 11 July received extensive media coverage, although the authorities said later it had not posed any risk to public health or the environment.

Bour said a name change was first mooted around 10 years ago, but the French nuclear group Areva showed little interest in renaming its facility, about 50 kilometres from Avignon.

A meeting of the AOC administrative council is to be held 5 August to discuss a name change "as a precaution for the image," said Bour, with Grignan - the name of a local village - mooted as one possibility.

[AFP / Expatica]

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