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An oven exploded on the Marcoule nuclear site in France
An oven exploded on the Marcoule nuclear site in the Gard region, causing a risk of radioactive leakage, said firefighters and prefecture AFP.
According to France 3 - Languedoc-Roussillon, there would be one dead and three wounded. A fire in a radioactive waste site is the cause of the explosion. A security perimeter was drawn up.
The Marcoule site was the birthplace of the industrial and military applications of plutonium in France. The coming end of life of some facilities is reflected in the implementation of decommissioning projects, and launching new projects (Source: Wikipedia).
More in the minutes and hours to come.
'Leak risk after explosion at French nuclear plant'
There is a risk of a radioactive leak after a blast at the southern French nuclear plant of Marcoule, media reports say.
One person was killed and three were injured in the explosion, following a fire in a storage site for radioactive waste, Le Figaro newspaper said.
The plant is in the Gard region.
It is a major site involved with the decommissioning of nuclear facilities, and operates a pressurised water reactor used to produce tritium.
The site is partly used by French nuclear giant Areva to produce MOX fuel which recycles plutonium from nuclear weapons. Part of the process involves firing superheated plutonium and uranium pellets in an oven.
Industrial operator for the French Atomic Energy Commission
Concrete pouring for packages of solid wastes of CDS - Marcoule facility
AREVA is the CEA's (French Atomic Energy Commission) benchmark industrial partner on the Marcoule facility for the cleanup and disassembly of nuclear installations which have reached the end of their life cycle, as well as for the operation of nuclear and conventional installations.
AREVA, lead contractor for processing of the site
From 1958 to 1997, plant UP1 treated used fuels from the subsidiary UNGG (natural uranium - graphite - gas). It ceased operations on September 30, 1997. The redevelopment phase since launched constitutes a world first for a nuclear site of this size.
30 years of construction work,
1,000 locations to clean,
30,000 ton of waste to treat, 2% of which was highly active
Under the project leadership of CEA, AREVA Marcoule is the industrial operator for the cleanup of the treatment plant and its connected facilities. It performs operations including:
Cleaning and disassembly of the treatment plant and associated facilities, such as preparation workshops:
rinsing circuits using classic or specific chemical reagents,
Decontamination, shearing, and disassembly of equipment (pumps, filters, tanks, glove boxes...)
Recovery, sorting, and reconditioning of waste generated since the inception of the site as well as those produced by the cleanup operations, in accordance with applicable standards: oil drums, structural waste, fuel containers... These were then temporarily stored on-site or removed to a permanent storage facility.
Nuclear installation operator
AREVA also operates in Marcoule various nuclear industry installations, on behalf of the CEA for the:
Production of tritium.
Treatment of liquid waste and waste products.
Inspections and laboratory expertise in nuclear materials.
Dosimetry of personnel.
Decontamination of machines and tools.
Maintenance of transport containers for nuclear materials.