Pakistan Cyber Force: Blast rocks Nuclear Plant in France, Nuclear Waste site set Ablaze

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Monday, September 12, 2011

Blast rocks Nuclear Plant in France, Nuclear Waste site set Ablaze

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At least one person has been killed and four more wounded in an explosion which rocked on Monday a nuclear power plant in Marcoule, southern France. ­According to emergency services, there is a risk of a radioactive leak after the blast. Meanwhile French nuclear authorities say there is no leak “at this time”. There is no clear information immediately available as to how much risk the incident poses. The site is involved in the decommissioning of nuclear facilities, and operates a pressurized water reactor used to produce tritium. RT's sources say the blast happened in one of the workshops where nuclear waste is disposed of. Le Figaro newspaper reports that there was also a fire in the storage site where explosion set off.

Marcoule Nuclear Plant in France
The Marcoule site has been in use since 1956 and is utilized by the Atomic Energy Organization "Commissariat a L'energie Atomique". In the 1970's, it housed the first industrial and military plutonium experiments. All the first-generation nuclear reactions at the site have been shut down, and only one pressurized water reactor is in operation. Today, it is an important location for the decomissioning of nuclear facilities. The last reactor was shut down in 1984. The facility is currently used by the French nuclear firm Areva, for the clean-up and disassembly of nuclear installations. Last March, a level 2 incident had already occurred in the same plant (on a scale up to 7). This incident was initially reported as "level 1" by Areva, but after reviewing the case, the Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN) decided to classify it as "level 2". The ASN asserted it was "the failure of several safety requirements of the installation."

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