09.02.2017_No29 / News in Brief

No Nuclear Or Environmental Risk From Flamanville-1 Fire, Says EDF

Unplanned Events & Incidents

9 Feb (NucNet): A fire this morning at the Flamanville-1 nuclear power plant in northern France was caused by a short circuit in an electrical fan in the turbogenerator building, but it was brought under control “immediately” and there was no nuclear or environmental risk, EDF said. 

The Flamanville nuclear station in northern France.

Press reports of an explosion were incorrect, although there was a significant amount of smoke and several workers in the building suffered from smoke inhalation. The fire, at 09:40 local time, set off alarms.

The external fire brigade attended and the plant, a 1,330-MW pressurised water reactor unit, was shut down normally.

“It is a significant technical event but it is not a nuclear accident,” Olivier Marmion, a senior local official, told Agence France-Presse.

He said five people suffered smoke inhalation but there were no serious injuries.

Jacques Witkowski, another local official, told Reuters that authorities had ruled out sabotage as a cause of the fire. A mechanical part in the fan had probably overheated, he said. The reason was not yet known.

There are two commercially operational nuclear units at Flamanville, about 20 km west of the port of Cherbourg. It is also the site of the Flamanaville-3 EPR unit, which has been under construction since 2007.

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David Dalton

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