French officials: 'Don't worry about fatal nuclear explosion'
Radiation leak danger 'very, very low'
After one person was killed and four injured in an explosion at a French nuclear waste-processing plant, the French government rushed to reassure a citizenry increasingly edgy about nuclear safety.
"There is no chemical or nuclear risk as we speak," a French government spokeswoman told The Wall Street Journal. "It's an industrial accident, not a nuclear accident."
The explosion took place in an oven used to incinerate items with low levels of radiation, such as workers' uniforms and gloves, oils and solvents, and metal waste. A member of the French Institute for Radioprotection and Nuclear Safety told the WSJ that because of the low level of radioactivity in the waste products and the fact that damage to the building as a whole was slight, the amount of radiation released should be "very, very low."
The sprawling Marcoule nuclear facility, site of Monday's fatal blast
A security cordon was established after the explosion, but removed after the French nuclear safety agency, the Autorité de Sûreté Nucléaire, said that there was no public danger as a result of the blast, The Guardian reported.
The incineration facility is run by Centraco, a subsidiary of the French power company Électricité de France, and is located at the 140-hectare (346-acre) Marcoule atomic center near Nimes in southern France.
Marcoule, one of France's oldest nuclear sites, has four reactors, none of which were operating at the time of the Monday's explosion. Three have been long decommissioned, and the fourth – a small-scale fast breeder reactor prototype known as Phénix – was shut down in late 2009.
The sprawling Marcoule facility is used for "the cleanup and disassembly of nuclear installations which have reached the end of their life cycle," according to AREVA, the contractor managing the waste disposal along with providing other nuclear-industry services such as the production of tritium and the maintenance of nuclear-material transport containers. ®
Tragedy at old peoples' home - police investigating.
The town of Bournemouth was in shock today following the news that 4 residents died in a single day at just ONE old folk's home in the town. Alice Somebody, aged 87, died of unknown causes late on Friday afternoon. Doris Madeupname, aged 92, died in the early hours of Saturday, and her death was swiftly followed by those of Rob Anybody, aged 94, and Ethel Ethelsson (the well-known 1930's transgender activist), who died a little after noon on Saturday aged 217. Doctors described Ethelsson's death as "unsurprising, under the circumstances", but were unwilling to comment on what those supposed "circumstances" might be. Seasoned observers note that Bournemouth is less than 400km from the notorious Sellafield facility, where orphaned children are known to be regularly coerced into pulling the mine-carts (the Shetland ponies having withdrawn their labour after the hushed-up 1998 nuclear disaster).
Bournemouth is also less than 3,000 km from Chernobyl, where the worst nuclear disaster of all time happened in 1986. Since Chernobyl, about a billion people have died in the world, and billions more are expected to die in the future.
Police investigating the deaths refused to rule out the possibilty that unprecedented levels of radiation were responsible for the mysterious deaths.
Of course, we'll never know, because they never tell us anything, do they?
How about this for an idea?
It's funny. All you Pro's have so much in common with the Anti's. You both believe the extremes (it's ALL ok, or it's ALL wrong) and can't be arsed to question your own received beliefs.
Why not inform yourself about the "grey ground" in the middle from people who know...You know, get a little more perspective? Even if it does mean a little effort.
It's worth a good trawl through these videos, especially (as an ex-NRC regulator) his appraisal of safety in US plants, and the consequences of particle fallout.
Here come the Chicken Littles
Say it with me: The sky is falling! The sky is falling! We must immediately shut down all operating nuclear reactors, end all processing operations, and replace our entire planet's electrical infrastructure with the power of positive thinking!