Several workers at a French Nuclear plant Flamanville had to be treated for smoke inhalation Thursday after an explosion and fire in the turbine hall.
The plant, which is presently undergoing a major building project due to complete in 2018, stands in Normandy, northern France, and looks over the English Channel. Authorities reported one reactor had to be shut down after the blast, but they say there is no radiation risk, calling it “a significant technical event [but not] a nuclear accident”.
This is the first time the affected reactor has been shut down in seven years, reports L’Express, and a date for re-starting is not yet known. The operator will now have to undertake safety investigations before resuming operation. Flamanville Reactor two has already had two safety incidents since 2015.
The site’s two operational reactors were commissioned in the 1980’s, and a third is under construction by French operator EDF energy. When completed, what has been billed as the world’s safest nuclear reactor is set to be copied in the UK at Hinkley Point ‘C’, but the project is years behind schedule and significantly over-budget.
The Flamanville project has recently been the subject of anti-Nuclear protests citing safety concerns.