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PARIS, FRANCE – One person has been killed and four injured, one seriously, in a blast at the Marcoule nuclear site in southern France. There was no risk of a radioactive leak after the blast, caused by a fire near a furnace in the Centraco radioactive waste storage site, said unnamed officials.
A anonymous spokesman for the French nuclear waste plant, national electricity provider EDF, said it had been “an industrial accident, not a nuclear accident”. The cause of the blast was not yet known.
The explosion hit the area at 11:45 a.m. local time. A security cordon was set up as a precaution.
But interior ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet later said there had been no leak of radiation, neither inside nor outside the plant.
None of the injured workers was contaminated by radiation, said officials. The worker who died was killed by the blast and not by exposure to nuclear material.
Marcoule was opened in 1955 and is one of France’s oldest nuclear sites, though it has been extensively modernized. It is located in the Gard department in Languedoc-Roussillon region, near France’s Mediterranean coast.