The French nuclear safety body says one person died and another was seriously injured Monday in an explosion at the Marcoule nuclear site in southern France. The Nuclear Safety Authority said there have been no radiation leaks outside of the plant, which treats nuclear waste with little radioactivity. Three other people were injured in the explosion, the statement said.
This is a breaking story, so details are scarce. I welcome any links or comments from readers in France.
Here is the official internal translation of the statement from the French nuclear safety authority (ASN):
ASN has activated its emergency center at 12:30 (located at its headquarters in Paris XII) following an accident at the nuclear facility Centraco (Center for processing and packaging of low-level waste) located at Codolet commune near the site of Marcoule (Gard).
According to preliminary information, it is an explosion of a furnace used to melt the metallic radioactive waste of low and very low activity.
A first assessment reported one dead and four injured including a serious one.
There are no release[s] outside the installation.
The operator has activated its emergency plan in accordance with the procedures. Centraco is operated by SOCODEI. The installation is dedicated to the treatment of waste of low or very low level either by fusion for metallic waste, or by incineration of incinerable waste. The ASN is in constant contact with the prefecture of the Gard and the operator. It mobilized its division of Marseille … and has sent inspectors to the prefecture and the site.”
More details will be posted as they come.
UPDATE: Here is a second statement by ASN:
The event that occurred this morning in Centraco, nuclear installation located near Marcoule site (Gard) is considered as closed.
The explosion of a furnace dedicated for the melting of the metallic radioactive waste triggered a fire that ended at 13h00 (11.00 UTC)
The building where the explosion occurred was not damaged. Injured people do not suffer from any radiological contamination and all measures conducted by the licensee outside of the building have shown no trace of radioactive contamination.
One worker died and 4 others have sustained injuries, one of whom suffered deep burns.
This event does not involve any radiological issue and no protective actions was required for the population.
ASN, the French Nuclear Safety Authority, has suspended its emergency organization; ASN is still in permanent contact with the prefecture of Gard and the licensee Socodei. ASN will conduct dedicated inspections in liaison with Labour inspection in order to analyse the reasons of the accident.
Centraco is owned by SOCODEI. The installation is dedicated to the treatment and conditioning of low level radioactive waste, either by melting of metallic waste or by incineration of incinerable waste.