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Explosion Hits Nuclear Power Plant in France, Injuries Reported

© AFP 2023 / CHARLY TRIBALLEAU General view of the construction site of the third-generation European Pressurised Water nuclear reactor (EPR) in Flamanville, France. (File)
General view of the construction site of the third-generation European Pressurised Water nuclear reactor (EPR) in Flamanville, France. (File) - Sputnik International
An explosion hit a nuclear power plant in northwestern France. Several people have sustained injuries as a result of the blast.

There is no risk of a radioactive release as a result of an explosion at the Flamanville nuclear power plant, local media Ouest France reported.

There have been no serious injuries as a result of the blast, 5 people have been slightly intoxicated.

"According to preliminary data, there may be injured people," the newspaper said.

The explosion occurred in the engine room of the Flamanville NPP at 10:00 local time. Emergencies services have arrived at the site.

Members of the media wearing protective suits and masks report as they are escorted by TEPCO employees at Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO)'s tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Okuma, Fukushima prefecture on February 20, 2012. - Sputnik International
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According to emergencies services cited by Ouest France, the explosion took place in the "heart" of the nuclear power plant outside the nuclear zone.

The work of the first reactor of the NPP has been suspended.

French officials told Sputnik that short circuit was the reason for the incident. He confirmed earlier reports that several people suffered smoke inhalation.

"The first thing to note is that there is no risk of emission, it is not a radioactive zone. The causes of the incident are being established, but the most likely version is short circuit," the prefecture of the Manche department told Sputnik.

The EDF, the country's largest power generating company and world's largest operation of nuclear power plants, confirmed the explosion later in the day. There were no victims or environmental damage as a result of the blast. The fire at the NPP was under control.

Prefect of La Manche region Jacques Witkowski told Franceinfo news portal that the incident occurred due to a ventilation malfunction, which resulted in fire with smoke.

In reaction to the incident, Socialist Party (PS) presidential candidate Benoit Hamon expressed solidarity with those who had been poisoned.

“Thoughts with those hurt and a target of 50% renewables in 2025. There are no minor nuclear incidents,” Hamon posted on his Twitter account.

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