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Published: Sun, February 12, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

'No casualties and fire-controlled' at EDF-run French nuclear plant


"This is a significant technical incident but it is not a matter of a nuclear accident".

The fire brigade told local media there was a blast and fire in the compound but that the explosion happened outside the nuclear zone.

The blast took place in the engine room at the Flamanville plant, which lies 25 kilometres (15 miles) west of the port of Cherbourg and just across from the Channel Islands.

Local police chief, Olivier Marmion, said the fire was succesfully brought under control at 12.10 local time (11.10 GMT). Officials said that several people were slightly injured after inhaling the fumes, though there is no nuclear risk.

Five people were treated by paramedics for smoke inhalation, with no serious injuries immediately reported.

The company, however, didn't respond to Kallanish Energy's queries asking when the pressurized water reactor, one of two units operating since the 1980s, would be restarted. Authorities have yet to ascertain the cause of the fire which sparked the explosion, but say that they have ruled out sabotage.

A new-third generation reactor, known as EPR or Flamanville 3, is under construction in Normandy.

"Unit 1 was disconnected from the grid".

EDF, the electric utility that operates the plant said Thursday that there was "no victim and no consequences for safety and the environment".

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