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French Nuclear Site Explosion Kills One, Injures Four


A partial view of the nuclear plant in Marcoule near Nimes (file photo)
An explosion at a nuclear plant in southern France has killed at least one person and injured four, one of them seriously.

France's state nuclear regulator ASN initially said there was a risk of a radioactive leak following the explosion at the Marcoule plant near the city of Nimes.

But it later announced that the incident was "over," adding: "This accident has no radiological risk or need for population protection."

Officials said none of the injured workers was contaminated by radiation and that the worker who died was killed by the blast and not by exposure to nuclear material.

The owner of the plant, national electricity provider EDF, said the blast happened in a furnace used to burn waste with only very low levels of radiation.

The cause of the blast is not yet known.

The Marcoule plant is a nuclear waste management site that does not include any reactors.

The site is around 20 kilometers north of the historic city of Avignon, which is thronged with tourists at this time of the year.

compiled from agency reports