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20 minutes – Start of fire in a shutdown nuclear reactor


The Nuclear Safety Authority has requested “enhanced monitoring of off-site radioactivity” and will conduct an inspection on Thursday.

The fire started Tuesday shortly before 11:00 am inside a cutting workshop for the upper part of the tank of a reactor stopped in 1996 and whose internal structures are currently being dismantled by EDF.

The fire was allegedly caused by the fall of a site projector “near a ventilation duct and vinyl elements which would then have heated,” said EDF.

It was brought under control shortly after 12:30 p.m. by the firefighters, alerted by the operator’s teams. Two operators were taken care of after being inconvenienced by the “opaque fumes” generated by the fire.

“The ventilation of the reactor building […] has remained permanently operational, ”adds EDF, which closed its Internal Toxic / Radiological Emergency Plan (PUI) Tuesday early in the afternoon.

“The instantaneous measurements carried out by EDF at the installation’s chimney and in the environment of the site did not show any radioactive release into the environment”, underlines the IRSN, whose own measurements did not “put in evidence of radiological abnormality ”. Other surveys and samples taken by IRSN “in situ” and “in the vicinity” of the plant are being analyzed.

The Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN) has provisionally classified the event as level 0 on the international INES scale, which lists nuclear events according to their severity (from 0 to 7).

ASN, which nonetheless asked for “reinforced monitoring of radioactivity outside the site”, will carry out an inspection on Thursday “in order to examine the causes of the incident and its management by EDF”, she said. indicated in a press release.


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