NPR : News

Filed Under:

Developing: Explosion At Nuclear Reprocessing Plant In France

The local newspaper reports it has been told there was "no radiation leak" earlier today after an explosion at a nuclear fuel reprocessing facility in southern France.

But much remains unknown about just what happened at the plant in Marcoule, near the Mediterranean Sea.

At least one person was killed in the incident, French media say.

We'll update this post as more information comes in.

Update at 1:35 p.m. ET. No Radiation Detected:

"No contamination was detected," according to the French commission that monitors radioactivity at such facilities.

Update at 9:20 a.m. ET. "Industrial Accident, Not A Nuclear Accident."

The local Midi Libre now writes:

" 'According to initial reports, it is an explosion of a furnace used to melt the metal radioactive waste of low and very low activity," said [the French nuclear safety agency], which has activated its emergency center in response to the accident, which occurred in late morning. According to a spokesman for [the company that operates the plant it was] 'an industrial accident, not a nuclear accident.'

" 'In this type of furnace, there are two types of waste: waste materials (valves, pumps, tools) and waste fuels such as gloves and coveralls technicians,' he said."

Update at 8:42 a.m. ET. "No Risk Of Contamination":

France 24 now reports that "authorities said there was no risk of contamination."

The local newspaper, Midi Libre, adds that "no measure of containment of radioactivity has been established in the surrounding villages, and no security perimeter around the plant. Only the gates of the enclosure is closed."

Update at 8:20 a.m. ET. "No Discharge":

Le Figaro (translated into English via Google Chrome) writes that "the incident took place in the center of society Centraco Socodei, a subsidiary of EDF to Codolet, said a spokesman for the Atomic Energy Commission (CEA). 'At the moment, there is no discharge to the outside,' he added.

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit


From A Weirdo Nerd To A Guy Who Plays One On TV

NPR's Ari Shapiro talks with the actor Rainn Wilson about his new memoir, The Bassoon King: My Life in Art, Faith, and Idiocy.

How Long Can Florida's Citrus Industry Survive?

The USDA recently stunned growers when it projected the smallest orange harvest for Florida in more than 50 years. The culprit: A tiny insect that's killing off the state's trees — and industry.

Snapshots 2016: Trump's Message Resonates With A Master Cabinet Maker

From time to time during this election season we'll be introducing you to ordinary people that our reporters meet out on the campaign trail. Today: a snapshot from a Donald Trump rally in New Hampshire.

Someday A Helicopter Drone May Fly Over Mars And Help A Rover

NASA is building a 2-pound helicopter drone that would help guide the vehicle on the Red Planet's surface. That way, the rover wouldn't need to wander as much to find its way around.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.