EMERGENCY services are onsite at EDF’s Flamanville nuclear power station, following an explosion and subsequent fire at around 09:40 local time this morning.
Authorities have told French newspaper Ouest-France that there is no nuclear risk, as the explosion occurred away from the nuclear zone. Jacques Witkowski, the prefect of La Manche, where Flamanville is located, said that a fan exploded. Olivier Marmion, director of the cabinet of La Manche prefecture, described the incident as a “technical event” to the paper, rather than a nuclear accident.
Marmion said the five people were treated by paramedics at the scene for smoke inhalation, but no other injuries have been reported. EDF told Ouest-France that the fire was extinguished quickly. Reactor 1 was shut down as a precaution. The French Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN) has been informed.
EDF has not responded to The Chemical Engineer’s request for comment.
Flamanville nuclear power plant has two operational 1,300 MW pressurised water reactors. EDF is currently building a third reactor, a 1,650 MWe European Pressurised Reactor, which was due to start operations in 2012, but has been repeatedly delayed. It is currently three times over budget and due to begin operating in late 2018.
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