Live blog: France nuclear blast
Staff reporter · 12 Sep 2011, 14:05
Published: 12 Sep 2011 14:05 GMT+02:00
6.01pm: We're now wrapping up our live blog coverage following today's fatal explosion at a nuclear facility in southern France. You'll find all the latest news in this round-up article. We will of course continue to monitor events and keep you updated should there be any major developments. Thanks for reading.
4:32pm: @maitreroger on Twitter: "First twinning committee of the towns of #Marcoule and Fukushima to have inauguaral meeting at Chernobyl next weekend."
4:26pm: Corinne Le Page, MEP for Mouvement Démocrate, tweets: "To EDF, it's an industrial accident. Fukushima is a natural accident. The moral: there's no such thing as a nuclear accident."
4:15pm The French nuclear safety agency, ASN, has declared the incident 'over,' AFP reports. "This accident has no radiological risk or need for population protection," the agency said in a release, adding that it had suspended its crisis cell dealing with the incident.
3:48pm: French TV is showing images of members of the public walking around freely outside the Marcoule nuclear plant.
3:35pm The French Nuclear Energy Board (CEA) says that it had not taken measures 'to isolate or evacuate' staff at the plant, as those injured 'have not been contaminated.
3:33pm: Le Monde, quoting a 'government source' says that the explosion would appear to have been caused by human error.
3:28pm: CNN, citing news source Global Security, is reporting that weapons-grade plutonium is produced at Marcoule. However, Global Security states on its website that the weapons plant at Marcoule was shut down in 1997.
3.07pm: Green Party national secretary Cécile Duflot:
"Since the Fukushima incident, a will has been expressed [by the nuclear industry and authorities] to be more transparent, and now is the moment for the competent authorities and for the managers of the Marcoule site to immediately put this to the test."
3:04pm: L'Express is quoting a spokesman for EDF, parent company of the plant's owner, Socodei: "This is an industrial accident, not a nuclear accident."
2.59pm: From the ASN (Nuclear Safety Authority) press release:
“According to preliminary information, this was an explosion in an oven used to melt metallic waste of weak and very weak radioactivity.”
“The plant’s operator has put into operation its internal emergency plan, in accordance with procedures.”
2.56pm: Via AFP: There was no radioactive leak following Monday's explosion at a nuclear site in the south of France in which at least one person died, the French government said.
2.54pm: Green Party presidential candidate Eva Joly on Twitter: The government ought to inform the population and staff [at the plant] in real time.
2.49pm: The site is around 20 kilometres (12 miles) north of the historic city of Avignon which is thronged with tourists at this time of the year, AFP report. Also very close to Orange and just 130km from Marseille.
2.44pm: Shares in EDF, ultimate owner of the Marcoule plant, fell 6 percent following news of the explosion, le Figaro reported.
2.41pm: Midi Libre reporting that ASN, the agency responsible for nuclear safety, did not have anybody at the site of the accident almost 2 hours after the blast. They told the newspaper to “call back later”.
2.35pm: There are no live reactors at the Marcoule plant. The last of Marcoule's three reactors was shut down in 1984.
2.23pm: The nuclear plant is close to the small town of Bagnols-sur-Cèze in the Languedoc-Roussillon region of southern France. It is in the Côtes-du-Rhône wine producing region.
2.21pm: More updates in The Local's main story on the blast.
2.14pm: Midi Libre now reporting one dead, four injured. One man seriously injured, evacuated to Montpellier by helicopter.
2.13pm: The newspaper Midi Libre is reporting that the body of the man who was killed was "carbonised".
2.10pm: RT @ITwitius: French police say NO contamination from nuke power plant explosion - monitoring.
2.08pm: A spokesman for the French Nuclear Energy Board (CEA) has said that there are "currently no emissions outside the plant."