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Explosion at Flamanville nuclear power plant in France

flamanville-nuclear-power-plant-explosion-february-9-2017

An explosion has occurred at Flamanville nuclear power plant in France at 08:40 UTC (09:40 local time) on February 9, 2017. Several people were slightly injured.

The incident occurred in an engine room of Unit 1 reactor, injuring five people. Authorities said the injured inhaled fumes caused by the blast and are being treated. There is no contamination risk to the local community, they said.

"It is a significant technical issue but does not constitute a nuclear accident," Olivier Marmion, director of the prefect's office, told AFP. "The explosion occurred outside the nuclear zone."

The reactor is temporarily shut down.

According to EuroNews, the incident comes just as France's nuclear regulator, ASN, today is planning a conference asking the question: What should be the life-span of France's nuclear power plants?

The Flamanville nuclear power plant is located on the Cotentin Peninsula in La Manche, 105 km (65 miles) from UK. It was build in 1980 and houses two pressurized water reactors. After a series of delays, its third reactor remains under construction.

Hundreds have joined protests against the third reactor, which is due to be turned on in 2018, the Independent reports. A radioactive leak occurred in 2012 from reactor one, which was at a standstill at that time.

Featured image credit: Google

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