Investigation Ordered in Derailment of Areva Train Used for Nuclear Material

On the same day that a train derailment killed six people near Paris, an identical track problem caused the crash of another train on a line owned by Areva to move nuclear material.

On Friday, French public broadcaster RFI reported that Areva and police agencies have opened an investigation into the crash near Bessines sur Gartempe. On the morning of July 12 the train came off the rails and traveled about 100 yards before coming to a stop. Neither of the two workers aboard were injured. The private line is used to move nuclear waste between Areva facilities, although reports conflicted as to whether the derailed train actually had nuclear material aboard at the time.

Both that derailment and the lethal crash at Brétigny-sur-Orge are being blamed on loose pieces of metal called fishplates that connect sections of rail. Nonetheless, French authorities have emphasized that they have not found evidence the two incidents are related.

RFI reported that Le Populaire du Centre newspaper received a message from an unknown anti-nuclear group taking responsibility for the Areva train derailment, although its authenticity had not been confirmed. The derailment happened on the same day an Areva-sponsored museum devoted to uranium mining opened in Bessines.

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