Explosion at French nuclear plant of Marcoule
One person has been killed and four injured, one seriously, by an explosion at the southern French nuclear plant of Marcoule.
There were no radioactive leaks after the blast, caused by a fire near a furnace in a radioactive waste storage site, a French nuclear official said.
A security perimeter has been set up because of the risk of leakage.
The plant produces MOX fuel, which recycles plutonium from nuclear weapons, but does not include reactors.
Marcoule nuclear plant
- Used by French nuclear firm Areva for the clean-up and disassembly of nuclear installations
- Also used a research centre of the Atomic Energy Commission (CEA)
- Created in 1955 for plutonium production
- Described on Areva website as one of France's oldest nuclear sites
It is a major site involved with the decommissioning of nuclear facilities.
The Centraco treatment centre belongs to a subsidiary of national electricity provider EDF.
The explosion hit the plant at 1145 local time (0945 GMT).
"For the time being nothing has made it outside," said a spokesman for France's Atomic Energy Commission (CEA).
Marcoule, one of France's oldest nuclear plants, is located in the Gard department in Languedoc-Roussillon region, near France's Mediterranean coast.
Nuclear energy provides more than 70% of France's energy needs.
All the country's 58 nuclear reactors have been put through stress tests in recent months, following the disaster at Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant which was hit by an earthquake and tsunami.
EDF's share prices fell by more than 6% as news of the blast emerged.