February 9, 2017
FILE PHOTO General view of the operating nuclear power plant in Flamanville, north-western France © Charles Platiau / Reuters
The incident occurred at 9:45 local time (08:45 GMT) in an engine room, Électricité de France (EDF) said in a statement. The power at Reactor №1 was “disconnected automatically” after the blaze started in an engine room in the non-nuclear part of the facility.
At least five people have been slightly injured inhaling the fumes caused by the blast, AFP reports citing authorities.
There is no contamination risk to locals, authorities said.
According to AFP, the Unit 1 reactor will still temporarily be shut down, however.
“It is a significant technical failure but it is not a nuclear accident” because the explosion occurred “outside the nuclear zone,” Olivier Marmion, director of the prefect’s office, told AFP.
The nuclear plant located in the Flamanville commune has two pressurized water reactors that produce 1.3 GWe (gigawatt electrical) each. The reactors were built in 1986 and 1987. A third reactor will be completed by 2018.
The plant is owned by Électricité de France (EDF), a French electric utility company, headquartered in Paris.