1 Dead, 1 Injured Following Explosion At Nuclear Waste Reprocessing Facility In Marcoule, France

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Update: NO CONTAMINATION FROM EXPLOSION AT FRENCH MARCOULE NUCLEAR SITE - FRENCH POLICE: RTRS... hopefully the accuracy here is better than at Fukushima

The following story is very fluid and we are following closely. Minutes earlier shares of french EDF have come under selling pressure following broad headlines of a explosion at a French nuclear power plant. Here is what we have found so far:

From Midi Libre

An oven exploded this morning at around 11 h 45 in the reprocessing of nuclear waste Centraco (Central Nuclear processing and packaging), based in Marcoule, among Chusclan Codolet and, in the Gard.

 

The explosion, which resulted in no radiation leak, a source close to the investigation, killed a man found burned and injured four others, including one critically. The latter was evacuated by emergency helicopter to University Hospital Lapeyronnie in Montpellier.

 

The three injured were taken slightly more to the hospital in Bagnols-sur-Ceze.

 

No measure of containment of radioactivity has been established in the surrounding villages. 

 

The police and firefighters at the scene of the accident at the time of writing.

From Reuters:

A furnace exploded at the Marcoule nuclear waste treatment site in southern France on Monday, killing one person, but there was no leak of radioactive material outside the furnace, France's ASN nuclear safety watchdog said.

 

Four other people were injured, one seriously, in the blast at the Centraco site, owned by French power utility EDF and adjacent to the Marcoule nuclear research center. The site does not house any nuclear reactors.

 

The furnace that exploded is used to melt waste with levels of radioactivity ranging from low to very high, ASN said.

 

It did not immediately give a reason for the blast but said it was completely contained within the furnace.

 

Police also said there was no contamination outside the site, which is about 30 km (18 miles) from the city of Avignon and about 80 km (50 miles) from the Mediterranean coast.

 

France -- the world's most nuclear-reliant country -- is carrying out stress tests on its 58 nuclear reactors in the aftermath of the Fukushima disaster in Japan.

A litte more on Marcoule from Wikipedia:

Marcoule (French: Site nucléaire de Marcoule) is located in the Chusclan and Codolet French communes, near Bagnols-sur-Cèze in the Gard department, which is in the touristic, wine and agricultural Côtes-du-Rhône region.

Since 1956, Marcoule is a gigantic site exploited by the atomic energy organization Commissariat à l'Énergie Atomique (CEA) and Areva NC. The first industrial and military plutonium experiments took place in Marcoule. Diversification of the site was started in the 1970s with the creation of the Phénix prototype fast breeder reactor, and is nowadays an important site for decommissioning nuclear facilities activities.

Since 1995, the MELOX factory produces MOX from a mix of uranium and plutonium oxides. MOX is used to recycle plutonium from nuclear fuel; this plutonium comes from the COGEMA La Hague site.

The ATelier Alpha et Laboratoires pour ANalyses, Transuraniens et Etudes de retraitement (ATALANTE) is a CEA laboratory investigating the issues of nuclear reprocessing of nuclear fuel and of radioactive waste.

 Reactors

The site housed a number of the first generation French UNGG reactors, of which have all been shut down. Since then, it has also operated a pressurized water reactor that was used for the purpose of producing Tritium. Cooling for all of the plants has come from the Rhône river.

 

EDF Stock reaction: