PARIS – A nuclear waste site in southern France had an explosion Monday that killed one person, seriously burned another and slightly injured three others, France’s nuclear safety body said.
The Nuclear Safety Authority said no radioactive leaks have been detected in the blast at 12:37 p.m. at an oven in the Centraco nuclear site. The accident was under control within the hour, the agency said in a statement.

Rumors of leaked video of explosion at French Nuclear Power-Plant

Centraco is located on the grounds of another nuclear site, Marcoule, in the Languedoc-Roussillon region near the Mediterranean Sea.

“According to initial information, the explosion happened in an oven used to melt radioactive metallic waste of little and very little radioactivity,” the statement said. “There have been no leaks outside of the site.”

Those injured were not contaminated with radiation, and the outside of the building that houses the oven showed no sign of damage or contamination either, the agency said in a separate statement.

Officials from France’s EDF power company, whose subsidiary operates Centraco, stressed that there was no nuclear reactor on the site and that no waste treated at the site of the explosion came from a reactor. Spokeswoman Carole Trivi said a fire broke out after the explosion, but it has since been brought under control.

The cause of the blast was not immediately known, and an investigation has been opened, Trivi said.

The material at Centraco comes from nuclear sites and therefore is mildly radioactive, spokeswoman Carole Trivi said. She said the site treats mostly waste from EDF’s own power plants, as well as a small amount of material from hospitals or medical research labs.
Nothing comes from weapons manufacture, she said.
Staff at the plant reacted to the accident according to planned procedures, the Nuclear Safety Authority said in the statement. The local Midi Libre newspaper reported that no quarantine or evacuation measures had been immediately undertaken.

A separate statement from France’s Nuclear and Alternative Energy Commissions added that the site of the explosion remains sealed and its ventilators were operating.

Centraco is located on the 300-hectare Marcoule site, which also houses a research center and four industrial sites, including one that makes Mox, a fuel made from plutonium and uranium.
The head of the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency, Yukiya Amano, said his organization’s “incident and emergency center was immediately activated and has sent requests for detailed information.”

France is the world’s most nuclear-dependent country in the world, with the lion’s share of its electricity coming from the 58 nuclear reactors that dot the country. France is also a major exporter of nuclear power, treats nuclear waste from around the world, and state-owned nuclear giant Areva is one of the country’s most prominent companies.

The kind of soul-searching about using nuclear power that swept the world following Japan’s March 11 tsunami and the disaster at the Fukushima nuclear plant have been largely absent in France, which has stuck firmly to its pro-nuclear policy.

In June, President Nicolas Sarkozy pledged that France will stick to a plan to invest $1.37 billion in future nuclear reactors.

By contrast, neighboring Germany took eight of its older reactors off the grid in the wake of the Japanese disaster and lawmakers have voted to shut the country’s nine remaining nuclear plants by 2022.

Still, French environmentalists have long called for the end to the country’s nuclear program, and the Europe Ecology-Greens party urged transparency in responding to Monday’s accident.

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To see my original report on the Nuclear Melt-THROUGH in Japan, go here

To see video about what has REALLY been happening with the reactors in Japan the past 3 months, go to the link below to see Arnie Gunderson speaking with John King on CNN last night about the Melt-DOWN situation that Arnie has been trying to let people know about. Let’s hope John King has the courage to go forward and confirm the Melt-THROUGH with Arnie ASAP (I will attempt to find new posts from Arnie Gunderson and post them when I can):

A reader of my blog writes the following about the current Melt-Through status of 3 reactors in Fukushima, Japan:

“Meltdown in a nuclear plant has never happened on this scale. Think of it as a gigantic ‘plug’ of radiated earth and debris plunging downward into the earth from the site. Likely there will be other such ‘plugs’ (think in terms of a gigantic cork (hardened and destructive)or radioactive drill. I am using these basic metaphors to give a better description to the average reader of what is taking place. At one time, it was known as the “China Syndrome” theory of what might happen when a true n-plant implosion (not explosion) might happen. We do not know how far this ‘boring’ may go, but Japan will begin to see more and more sea water sprouting from ‘holes’ throughout the island. Japan is literally being ‘drilled’ through by this irradiated earth and debris. It is tragic and serious, not only for Japan but for all of the earth and the oceans. Chernoble pales in comparison”. – G.S. (personal communication, 2011)

So, let’s take a look at what this might mean. Because apparently, no news center in the United States is willing to:

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The China Syndrome is a term invented to describe one possible result of a severe nuclear meltdown in which molten reactor core components penetrate their containment vessel and building. The term is misleading, since molten material from such an event could not melt through the crust of the Earth nor reach China from USA.

Nuclear power plants ordered during the late 1960s raised safety questions and created fears that a severe reactor accident could release large quantities of radioactive material into the environment. In the early 1970s, a controversy arose regarding the ability of emergency cooling systems to prevent a core meltdown. This issue was discussed in the popular media and technical journals.

In 1971, nuclear physicist Ralph Lapp used the term China syndrome to describe a possible burn-through, following a loss of coolant accident of the reactor containment structures and the subsequent escape of radioactive material into the environment. His statements were based on the report of a task force of nuclear physicists headed by W. K. Ergen, published in 1967.[4] The dangers of such a hypothetical accident were popularized by the 1979 film, The China Syndrome.
The name itself comes from the mistaken idea that, to many Americans, “the other side of the world” is China.

The term “China Syndrome” refers to a possible result of a catastrophic meltdown of a nuclear reactor. Also called a loss of coolant accident, the scenario begins when something causes the coolant level in a reactor vessel to drop, uncovering part—or all—of the fuel element assemblies. Even if the nuclear chain reaction has been stopped through use of control rods or other devices, the fuel continues to produce significant residual heat for a number of days due to further decay of fission products. If not properly cooled, the fuel assemblies may soften and melt, falling to the bottom of the reactor vessel. There, without neutron-absorbing control rods to prevent it, nuclear fission could resume but, in the absence of a neutron moderator, might not. Regardless, without adequate cooling, the temperature of the molten fuel could increase to the point where it melts through the structures containing it. Although many[who?] feel the radioactive slag would stop at or before the underlying soil, such a series of events could release radioactive material into the atmosphere and ground, potentially causing damage to the local environment’s plant and animal life.

LOCAL effects only? I don’t think so. This is very, very grim. Those of you who may, like me, be absolutely dumbfounded that this is not being covered by our News outlets here in the United States, consider writing your local, state, and federal representatives, along with your preferred News Media outlets.