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1 dead, 3 injured after oven explosion at French nuclear plant

Monday 12 Sep 2011 11:57 p.m.

The Marcoule nuclear plant (Reuters, file)

The Marcoule nuclear plant (Reuters, file)

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The French nuclear safety body and local authorities say an explosion has rocked the Marcoule nuclear plant in southern France.

The explosion at the plant, which occurred after a fire, killed one person and three others have been hospitalized with minor injuries.

The local Midi Libre newspaper said an oven exploded at the plant. No radiation leak was reported, the report said, adding that no quarantine or evacuation orders were issued for neighboring towns.

Evangelia Petit of the Agency for Nuclear Safety confirmed an explosion had taken place but declined to provide any further details. Officials in the Gard region also confirmed the explosion but said they could not give any more information.

The Nuclear Safety Authority later said there have been no radiation leaks outside of the plant, which treats nuclear waste with little radioactivity.

The Marcoule site is located in Langedoc Roussillon, in southern France, near the Mediterranean Sea.

The plant is used for decommissioning nuclear facilities. It produces MOX fuel, which is used to recycle plutonium from nuclear weaponry.

In Vienna, an official at the IAEA, who asked for anonymity because he was not authorized to speak on record, said the agency was in contact with French authorities "trying to learn more about the nature of the explosion."

3 News / AP

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