IRSN, Institut de radioprotection et de sûreté nucléaire

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Explosion in the CENTRACO facility for treatment and conditioning of low level radioactive waste

On Monday 12 September 2011 around noon, an explosion occurred in the CENTRACO facility  located in Marcoule (Gard-30), in the southeast of France. At 1 pm, IRSN activated its emergency response centre (CTC) to communicate with the Operator and the public authorities, and to coordinate the interventions of the Institute.

The CENTRACO facility is operated by SOCODEI. The facility is dedicated to the treatment and conditioning of low level radioactive waste, either by melting of metallic waste or by incineration of incinerable waste.

An oven dedicated to melt low and very low radioactive metallic waste exploded inside the building. The facility was shutdown straight after the explosion and all staff was evacuated, with the exception of the persons in charge of the management of the accident.

SOCODEI announced the death of one operator and four wounded, including one person in serious condition.

According to SOCODEI, this explosion did not involve radioactive releases into the environment as the building remained intact. The IRSN has sent a mobile team in order to carry out measures in the environment around the site to confirm this point. These measurements are currently under development and their results will be immediately made public.

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