Monday, 12 September 2011

VIDEO BREAKING NEWS: Blast Rocks French Nnuclear Ppower Plant !Radiation Leaks Feared

VIDEO BREAKING NEWS: Blast Rocks French Nnuclear Ppower Plant !Radiation Leaks Feared
local Midi Libre newspaper, on its web site, said an oven exploded at the plant, killing one person and seriously injuring another. No radiation leak was reported, the report said, adding that no quarantine or evacuation orders were issued for neighboring towns.

A security perimeter has been set up because of the risk of leakage. The explosion hit the site at 11:45 local time.

Evangelia Petit of the Agency for Nuclear Safety said early afternoon Monday an explosion had taken place but declined to provide any further details.

Officials in the region confirmed Monday's explosion to the Associated Press but also said they could not give any more information.

A later statement issued by the Nuclear Safety Authority said there have been no radiation leaks outside of the plant, which treats nuclear waste with little radioactivity. Staff at the plant reacted to the accident according to planned procedures, it said.

France's Nuclear Safety Authority, however, is not noted for its transparency.

Operational since 1956, the Marcoule plant is a major site involved with the decommissioning of nuclear facilities, and operates a pressurized water reactor used to produce tritium.

The site is has also been used since 1995 by French nuclear giant Areva to produce MOX fuel at the site's MELOX factory, which recycles plutonium from nuclear weapons. Part of the process involves firing superheated plutonium and uranium pellets in an oven.

The Centraco treatment centre where the expolsion took place belongs to a subsidiary of national electricity provider EDF.

The plant is located in the Gard department in Languedoc-Roussillon region, near France's Mediterranean coast.

France, which depends on nuclear power for some 80 percent of its power needs is one of the largest European nations not to reconsider the use of nuclear power in the wake of the Fukushima Daiichi crisis.

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