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France - nuclear power

Emergency at French nuclear power plant

Article published on the 2009-12-02 Latest update 2009-12-02 12:45 TU

Cruas nuclear power plant in Ardèche(Photo: EDF)

Cruas nuclear power plant in Ardèche
(Photo: EDF)

One of the reactors at the Cruas nuclear power station in Ardèche, southern France was shut down on Tuesday after a problem with the cooling system.

EDF, the French energy company, reported the incident just before midnight local time and shut down the reactor.

Water from the Rhone river is used to cool the nuclear plant, which employs more than 1,000 people, and the French Nuclear Safety authority (ASN) said vegetation had blocked the intake.

The flow of water was restored in the early hours of the morning and the emergency alert was lifted around 6:30 on Wednesday.

The accident was classified as a level two situation on the seven point scale of international nuclear incidents.

ASN confirmed that the reactor was under control at all times and there was no affect on the environment.

The Cruas site has four reactors, producing around 900 Megawatts each. It provides Rhône-Alpes with around 40 per cent of its power.

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