Explosion at French Nuclear Plant, 'NO Radiation Risk' AFPSat Feb 11, 2017 02:562604:2d80:4019:83b8:10c1:f2a3:f7e:12eExplosion at French nuclear plant, 'no radiation risk'
AFPFebruary 10, 2017
The Flamanville nuclear power plant in northwestern France, first came online in the 1980s (AFP Photo/CHARLY TRIBALLEAU)
Caen (France) (AFP) - An explosion at a nuclear power plant on France's northwest coast on Thursday caused minor injuries, but the authorities said there was no risk of radiation.
The blast occurred in the engine room at the Flamanville plant, which lies 25 kilometres (15 miles) west of the port of Cherbourg and just across from the Channel Islands.
"It is a technical incident. It is not a nuclear accident," senior local official Jacques Witkowski told AFP.
He said a ventilator had exploded outside the nuclear zone at the plant, which has been in operation since the 1980s and is operated by state-controlled energy giant EDF.
"It's all over. The emergency teams are leaving," Witkowski said.
Five people suffered smoke inhalation but there were no serious injuries, Witkowski said.
One of the two pressurised water reactors at the plant was shut down after the explosion and the incident was declared over at 1100 GMT, the authorities said.
The two 1,300 megawatt reactors have been in service since 1985 and 1986, and the site currently employs 810 people, along with an additional 350 subcontractors.
A new third-generation reactor known as EPR is being built at Flamanville, which will be the world's largest when it goes into operation in late 2018.
"Explosions in turbines, usually related to oil in bearings overheating, are not uncommon and occur from time to time in conventional coal, oil or gas plants," said Barry Marsden, a professor of nuclear graphite technology at the University of Manchester.
But Neil Hyatt, a professor of radioactive waste management at Sheffiled University said the incident should not be taken lightly.
"Any incident of this kind at a nuclear power plant is very serious, and the national and international regulators will want to undertake a thorough investigation to understand the cause and lessons to be learned," he said.
- 'Improved safety record' -
Construction of the new reactor at Flamanville began in 2007 and was initially due for completion in 2012 but has been delayed several times, and its initial budget has more than tripled, to 10.5 billion euros ($11.2 billion).
EDF said its safety record at nuclear sites improved last year, with 2.3 accidents for every one million hours worked, compared with 2.6 accidents in 2015.
That translates into five accidents that required reactor shutdowns in 2016, after eight the previous year.
France relies heavily on nuclear power, building its first nuclear plant in 1977 at Fessenheim, a site on the border with Germany that is set to be decommissioned in 2018.
Nuclear reactors generate about 75 percent of France's electricity supply, a level the government wants to bring down to 50 percent by 2025.
Fessenheim, located on a seismic fault line, has worried French, German and Swiss environmentalists for years and its fate has been the subject of dispute with Berlin.
France and Germany are close EU partners but have taken vastly different approaches to power generation.
Germany -- where the public mood swung against nuclear power following the 1986 Chernobyl disaster -- decided to phase out nuclear power after Japan's Fukushima meltdown in 2011.
67 COMMENTS AT
NerdyNerdy2 days ago
The risk of radiation at a nuclear plant is never zero, especially after an explosion
Les2 days ago
People should be protesting these nuke plants not pipe lines. These are way more dangerous and a nuke plant has yet to turn a profit.
Oliver Clotheshoffe2 days ago
Another "accident" just like the "electrical fire" that shut down the subway yesterday, right?
eliot d2 days ago
Yeah sure. This what they sad when Japan melted down 6 nuclear power plants and contaminated the entire Pacific Ocean.
Craig2 days ago
A day after a "technical incident" at the Paris metro. Hmmmm
thats what they first said about chernobyl
Thebes2 days ago
Perhaps it's even true that there is no risk. More likely than not even.
BUT, the history of Nuclear Accidents is a history of GOVERNMENT and CORPORATE LIES covering up the danger of those accidents. It happened with Fermi I, it happened with 3 Mile Island, of course it happened with Chernobyl (including France the only European nation to deny they received any fallout, stopped magickally at their borders).
Now more recently we have Fukushima, leaking worse than ever, they eventually admitted to the meltdowns, but initially they reported everything was ok- and the media parroted "only hydrogen explosions, no immediate danger"
My point is it would be foolish to trust the French government to tell the truth if there were a public health threat.
Peter2 days ago
Commenting by headlines alone.....explosion in French Metro train, explosion at French Nuclear power plant soon thereafter. Where's the next "accidental" explosion going to come from? I don't know about you but any type of explosion large enough and public enough to warrant news coverage (can't be covered up or easily dismissed) is very troubling to me. Might be false logic but don't small explosions in public and or dangerous place herald much bigger ones to come? My conspiracy theory of the day submitted for your approval or amusement.
pjrsullivan47 seconds ago
Are some of us not aware that our extraterrestrial family has been preventing our nuclear war fighting crowd from triggering any more of their nuclear dirty bomb shots on us?
Can we only wonder, was this accident staged by our elders from outer space to get that nuclear reactor offline so that the Stuxnet controller can be removed from the operating system?
The Hong Kong subway fire and the French Metro train incident. Might we only wonder if those were staged previously by weap Judah to deflect attention from this attempt to put this nuclear power plant into a meltdown as they succeeded in doing at Fukushima?
Will Labor not help us and put our grand juries in so that we can properly act to address the extinction level event nuclear waste war that is being waged against us?
If so then STRIKE THEM OUT!
Must Labor not get the bourse and issue some for our grand juries to look into these things here?
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