Nearly 500 times more radiation involved in explosion at Marcoule nuke plant than previously admitted — Level 1 on INES scale

Published: October 1st, 2011 at 8:17 am ET
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SOURCE: kmaschke

The French Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN) reveals the amount of radioactivity in the Oven, September 29, 2011:

Google Translation

After verification by the ASN, it appears that the smelter contained at the time of the accident, a load of about 4 tons of metal for an activity of about 30 MBq [30 000 kBq] and not 63 kBq like the operator initially indicated. This value is low, however ASN asked the operator to explain the reasons for this underestimation. [...]

The application of   INES  criteria (International Nuclear Event Scale, graduated from 0 to 7 in order of increasing severity) leads to classify the event at Level 1 on this scale because of the low-level radiation from the oven melting.

Babelfish Translation

After checking by l’ ASN, it s’ prove that the smelter contained, at the time of l’ accident, a load d’ approximately 4 tons of metal for an activity of l’ order of 30 MBq and not of 63 kBq like l’ initially l’ indicated; owner.

CRIIRAD, France, September 30, 2011:

Google Translation

1. Would this reassessment have been published if CRIIRAD had not officially asked [...] the various authorities on September 23 ?

2. How come the national expert, [IRSN], who was present at the site and has ressources unmatched by those of the CRIIRAD, has fully repeated the suspicious evaluation of the operator ? The figure of 63 KBq was
published on 12 September by the IRSN and without any later hotfix.

3. How to trust the self-monitoring of the operator, essential device for the control of CENTRACO installation ? From 63 kBq to 30 MBq [30 000 kBq], the difference is not 10 or 20%, but nearly 500 times !

Rememeber that the CRIIRAD had studied the plan to create the installation of CENTRACO and one of the main criticisms it made was the unreliability of the control system of the waste activity.

To access all the documents, the CRIIRAD association will question its members about FILING A COMPLAINT IN COURT on October 14. The aim will be to ensure that all
responsibilities are well researched and established. The explosion caused the death of a employee. Another remains in critical condition. All light must be shed on the
operating conditions and control of the installation.

h/t Jack Dawson

Published: October 1st, 2011 at 8:17 am ET
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