“It is a significant technical failure but it is not a nuclear accident” because the explosion occurred “outside the nuclear zone,” Olivier Marmion, director of the prefect’s office, told AFP.
The local government for the Manche region says that the blast at the Flamanville plant on France’s northwest coast has been contained and managed.
Operator EDF said that there were no injuries and that a fire led to a blast in the machine room of one of the two nuclear reactors at Flamanville. According to EDF, the fire started at 9:40am and caused an explosion in the machinery room. The fire happened in part of plant linked to reactor 1, which was disconnected from the grid, and was immediately controlled by plant’s crew;
The nuclear plant located in the Flamanville commune has two pressurized water reactors that produce 1.3 GWe (gigawatt electrical) each. The reactors were built in 1986 and 1987. A third reactor will be completed by 2018.