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Explosion at French nuclear plant kills one

An explosion at a nuclear facility in southern France killed one and injured four over the weekend, according to a report.
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Written by Andrew Nusca, Former editor on

An explosion at a nuclear facility in southern France killed one and injured four over the weekend, the BBC reports.

The 56-year-old Centraco plant at Marcoule experienced a fire near a furnace which caused the explosion, officials from France's Atomic Energy Commission say.

There were no radioactive leaks.

The facility -- owned by energy company EDF -- produces MOX ("mixed oxide") fuel, made from recycled plutonium from nuclear weapons. Although France gets more than 75 percent of its energy from nuclear energy, the Marcoule facility doesn't include a reactor, and exists to help decommission existing nuclear resources.

France’s Institute for Radioprotection and Nuclear Safety dispatched a crisis team to take air and soil samples for analysis. The results are expected this week.

There are 58 nuclear reactors in the country, many of which were recently audited for safety following the disaster at the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan.

Explosion at French nuclear site of Marcoule [BBC]

Illustration: The Marcoule plant in 1959. (Chemical Heritage Foundation/Flickr)

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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