Feeds

French officials: 'Don't worry about fatal nuclear explosion'

Radiation leak danger 'very, very low'

Top three mobile application threats

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 Marcoule nuclear waste-processing plant

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. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
Opportunity selfie: Martian winds have given the spunky ol' rover a spring cleaning
Power levels up 70 per cent as the rover keeps on truckin'
LOHAN and the amazing technicolor spaceplane
Our Vulture 2 livery is wrapped, and it's les noix du mutt
Liftoff! SpaceX Falcon 9 lifts Dragon on third resupply mission to ISS
SpaceX snaps smartly into one-second launch window
KILLER ROBOTS, DNA TAMPERING and PEEPING CYBORGS: the future looks bright!
Americans optimistic about technology despite being afraid of EVERYTHING
R.I.P. LADEE: Probe smashes into lunar surface at 3,600mph
Swan dive signs off successful science mission
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
prev story

Whitepapers

SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.