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Reversible wind farms form shield

Future wind turbine projects will reduce nuclear dependence, while 'blow' option will repel radioactive clouds

NEXT generation wind farms will not only reduce France's dependence on nuclear power, but protect it from radiation, the Environment Ministry has announced.

Farms of several hundred turbines will be built offshore, along France's Atlantic coast, the English Channel and the Mediterranean, and along inland borders.

In the event of nuclear accidents abroad, the turbines will turn to face the wind, switch to blow, and repel the approaching radioactive cloud.

A secret trial of the technology in the 1980s proved a success, when in 1986 French weather forecasters announced that an area of high-pressure over the country had spared the country, pushing radiation from the Chernobyl nuclear power station north to Britain and south to Corsica.

The project was scrapped by President Mitterrand, who believed it would be interpreted as an apology to Greenpeace, but was reinstated by Nicolas Sarkozy last week.

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