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PARIS, February 9. /TASS/. There is no nuclear risk after an explosion hit the Flamanville nuclear plant in northwestern France’s Manche Department, local authorities told TASS.
According to them, "the explosion occurred in the engine room, but not in any of the reactors, so there is absolutely no risk of nuclear contamination." Meanwhile, five people were affected by carbon monoxide as a result of the fire caused by the explosion.
Authorities said that the explosion had been caused by a technical malfunction. The Electricite de France company, operating the power plant, is expected to announce details soon.
The Flamanville nuclear plant was hit by an explosion at 10:00 local time on Thursday. The explosion occurred at the construction site of the third reactor. Fire fighters have already extinguished the fire, however, one reactor had to be temporarily stopped for security reasons.
The Flamanville power plant houses two pressurized water reactors that produce 1.3 GWe each and came into service in 1986 and 1987, respectively. Construction on the new reactor, Flamanville 3, began in 2007. Its start-up is scheduled for late 2018.