Chemical reaction sparks alert at French nuclear plant

Reuters News
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Posted: Sep 05, 2012 11:38 AM
Chemical reaction sparks alert at French nuclear plant

STRASBOURG, France (Reuters) - A chemical reaction at the Fessenheim nuclear power plant in eastern France injured several people and triggered a brief fire alert on Wednesday, local government and fire service officials said.

The incident, sparked by a chemical reaction, was quickly brought under control, the officials at the local government prefect's office and the fire services said.

French power utility EDF, which operates the plant, said there had been a steam leak there but denied initial reports from the local fire brigade that a fire had broken out.

"No fire broke out," an EDF spokeswoman said. "Steam escaped during a maintenance operation which set off the fire alarm," she said, adding that the incident hurt two EDF staff.

Fessenheim, France's oldest nuclear power plant, has two reactors that went into service in the 1970s.

(Reporting by Gilbert Reilhac and Muriel Boselli; Writing by Brian Love; Editing by Catherine Bremer and Jon Hemming)