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Explosion at French Nuclear Facility

Mon 12th Sep 2011

The French Power Generation company, EDF, have reported an explosion earlier today at one of their nuclear power facilities in Southern France, just 280km from the border with northern Spain.

The explosion, which killed one person and injured a number of others - one of them seriously - took place in a facility at Marcoule which is itself not a nuclear power station, but a facility which treats nuclear waste and other materials when de-commissioning actual power stations.

A statement released by EDF confirmed that the explosion had resulted in a fire which had been quickly brought under control, that the explosion had nothing to do with the reactor used on site, and that very little radioactivity was present at the site under normal operating conditions.

An investigation is underway, however there is understood to have been no requirement for quarantine or evacuation measures to be taken.

The site at Marcoule is one of the oldest Nuclear facilities in France, and was hoping to be selected to be home to France's next generation reactors.

France is currently home to some 59 Nuclear power plants, accounting for 78% of the country's energy requirements, the highest percentage of nuclear power production anywhere in the world. This compares to Spain's 8 Facilities producing 20% of the country's energy.

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