Explosion at French nuclear plant, ‘no risk’

Paris: An explosion at a nuclear power plant in northern France on Thursday caused minor injuries but took place outside the plant’s nuclear zone and posed no risk of contamination, the authorities said.

“It is a significant technical event but it is not a nuclear accident,” senior local official Olivier Marmion told AFP following the blast at the Flamanville plant 25 kilometres (15 miles) west of Cherbourg.

The cause of the explosion at the power station, which has been in operation since the 1980s, was not immediately known.

Marmion said five people had reported feeling unwell but that there were no serious injuries, adding that rescue services were at the site.

One of the plant’s two reactors was shut down after the explosion and the incident was declared over at 1100 GMT, the authorities said.