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No Leak Reported as French Nuke Plant Explodes, Carbonises Man

An explosions was reported today at the nuclear waste processing plant at the Marcoule nuclear site near Nimes in the south of France, The Guardian reports:

Marcoule The site produces MOX fuel, which recycles plutonium from nuclear weapons, and is partly used by the French nuclear power company Areva. Part of the process involves firing superheated pellets of plutonium and uranium in an oven to reduce them in size to make them easier to store.

Local newspaper Midi Libre reported that one person had been killed and four others injured, including one seriously, in the explosion at 11.45am (10.45 BST). The papers said the body of one male worker at the plant had been "found carbonised", but it added that there was no evidence that the explosion had "caused any radioactive leak".

The site continues to be under close scrutiny.

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  1. what exactly is meant when a body is "carbonized"? ghastly.

    Posted by: kodiak | Sep 12, 2011 8:48:55 AM

  2. Carbonisation is like combustion, but without oxygen. It's how charcoal is made, so the man was essentially turned to charcoal. Although it may sound horrifying, I imagine it was instant and painless.

    Posted by: Eric26 | Sep 12, 2011 8:56:34 AM

  3. "He should be quite well protected. If he survived the freezing process, that is."

    Posted by: nodnarb | Sep 12, 2011 9:11:07 AM

  4. And yet we still can't manage funding to lower costs of solar & other energy alternatives?

    Seriously, why isn't every parking lot covered in solar panels?

    Posted by: Pete n SFO | Sep 12, 2011 9:54:33 AM

  5. Solar is INEFFICIENT, Pete in SFO. It's very costly and very inefficient, large scale. Ditto wind mills / turbines [which are also LOUD...I live not far from a big one.

    Nuclear is the cheapest [minus construction costs in the western nations due primarily to court battles, liability insurance, extensive regulations, etc.] It's also has a great safety record.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Sep 12, 2011 10:05:17 AM

  6. then go move to Chernobyl, ratbastard

    Posted by: blegh | Sep 12, 2011 10:08:23 AM

  7. ...and WHERE does all this Nuclear waste get buried? Who wants to live near that? You NEVER hear or see of Politicans Living NEAR a Power plant or waste disposal facility..its ALWAYS the poor people.

    Posted by: Gay American | Sep 12, 2011 10:20:25 AM

  8. The good thing is, if it explodes we can always use the unfortunate workers as charcoal.

    Posted by: Karl | Sep 12, 2011 10:33:25 AM

  9. @ Nodnarb, "He should be quite well protected. If he survived the freezing process, that is." My thoughts exactly : P

    Posted by: RONTEX | Sep 12, 2011 11:09:52 AM

  10. lol @Karl. They should fit nicely in the bucket of the front loader!

    Posted by: Christ Bearer | Sep 12, 2011 11:38:53 AM

  11. The explosion was at a water treatment plant, not any "nuclear" facility, which explains the lack of radiation.

    Posted by: anon | Sep 12, 2011 12:28:17 PM

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