Explosion at Nuclear Plant in France Kills One, Injures Four

| Mon Sep. 12, 2011 11:00 AM EDT
The Marcoule nuclear power complex, where an explosion killed a worker on Monday, is located near Avignon, France.

An explosion has occurred at a nuclear waste processing plant in France, killing one and inuring four. The plant is located in the south of France, near the Marcoule nuclear research center. It produces MOX—or mixed oxide—fuel, which is used to recycle plutonium from nuclear weapons. In a statement, the French Nuclear Safety Authority said that the explosion occurred in an oven used to melt metallic waste.

There's no evidence the blast was caused by a radiation leak, according to the ASN. Despite that, firefighters have established a security perimeter around the plant, ABC reports. ABC also reports the French interior ministry is saying that no one has been evacuated from the surrounding area, and that the explosion's victims "have not been contaminated."

"There are several detectors on the outside and none of them detected anything, the building is sound," an advisor at the ministry told AFP. But the cause of the blast is yet to be determined.

The Marcoule plant is one of the oldest in France, which gets 75 percent of its power from nuclear technology. In June, the country pledged to invest one billion euros in future nuclear power development and research in nuclear security.

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