A blast hit the Marcoule nuclear power plant in Southern France, killing one person and injuring four other people. The blast exploded in the Centraco radioactive waste storage site after a fire started near a furnace in an industrial accident where no radioactive leakage is involved, the authorities said. The site does not shelter any nuclear reactors, a government spokesperson added. The Centraco treatment facility produces MOX fuel, which recycles plutonium from nuclear weapons.
At present, Marcoule is amongst the candidates to host a European Pressurised Water Reactor (EPRs) intended to produce electricity at a later stage of development of the French nuclear program. Some 75 percent of French electricity consumption is met by nuclear power currently.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was not able to provide more details on the accident, saying it expects more information from the French authorities, which are not willing to elaborate at this time. The site opened doors in 1955 and was modernized recently.
The local authorities said the fire that followed the blast is under complete control and no radioactive leaks were detected. The IAEA is preparing to scrutinize accident’s investigation, a spokesman for the agency said.