The first measurements taken by the operator established that there was “no increase in radioactivity”. The fire which broke out on Wednesday in a room containing uranium at the Framatome plant in Romans-sur-Isère (Drôme) was “under control”, indicated the Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN). “The checks carried out by the operator did not reveal any radioactivity in the air of the room or outside”, specified the ASN, which adds that the Institute for Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN) will be on site Thursday to “carry out additional measurements in the environment”. A “printer caught fire” The event, due to a “printer which caught fire”, lasted about an hour, said the inspector in head of ASN Christophe Quintin. The outbreak of fire was brought under control by means internal to the company. Separately, around forty firefighters, “including teams specializing in technological risks”, were mobilized on site, said the prefecture of Drôme. “The outbreak of fire detected inside a factory workshop was extinguished by the teams of firefighters mobilized on the site”, specified the prefecture, according to which “the departmental operational center was lifted as well than the device on site”, in a press release. The plant employs 950 people, it manufactures fuel for reactors, both for nuclear power plants and research centers. Solid and powdered uranium The fire was detected at 4:25 p.m., according to the prefecture, and the operator informed ASN at 5:10 p.m., according to the latter. “There was a fire start in a workshop, following which the security teams intervened, allowing the fire to be quickly brought under control,” said Framatome, which specializes in the manufacture of fuel for nuclear reactors. printer caught fire in a place where nuclear materials were stored in “plexiglass boxes”, said Christophe Quintin. This uranium was solid. There is also 1.7 kg of uranium in the form of recovered powder on site, but “far enough from the hearth”, he added. The fire started in a room of 20 square meters, according to the prefecture. A “monitoring device” “The radioactivity measurements were taken by the operator on the filters of the chimneys”, added the ASN inspector. The staff was evacuated, production in this building stopped and all the premises within the factory were made safe, according to the operator. Framatome has put in place “a surveillance system in order to prevent any new outbreak of fire in the room concerned”, according to the ASN, which authorized it to “lift its internal emergency plan”.
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