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Explosion At French Nuclear Site Kills One 262

Posted by samzenpus
from the someone-save-the-camembert dept.
syngularyx writes "An explosion took place in an oven Monday at the Marcoule nuclear site near the city of Nimes in the south of France. From the article: 'One person was killed and three were injured in the explosion, following a fire in a storage site for radioactive waste, Le Figaro newspaper said. It is a major site involved with the decommissioning of nuclear facilities. emergency services said.'" Update: 09/12 16:20 GMT by S : Changed headline and summary to reflect that there seems to be no risk of a leak.
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Explosion At French Nuclear Site Kills One

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  • by The Pirou (1551493) on Monday September 12, 2011 @09:51AM (#37376116)
    There is no risk of a radioactive leak according to the article referenced or several other articles referencing the incident.
  • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Monday September 12, 2011 @09:53AM (#37376130) Homepage Journal

    We had two workers die at my local power plant. They where putting giant snow flakes on the smoke stacks for Christmas!

    You know, I wouldn't kill anybody, but it seems like those guys deserved to die. There's just something too fucking postmodern about putting giant snowflakes on top of global warming-contributing pollution emitters...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 12, 2011 @09:54AM (#37376142)

    "There is no need for panic," the French government official continued, "as we have already begun our standard national emergency response plan. In fact, our ambassador is on his way right now to delivering our articles of surrender to Berlin."

  • by Rhaban (987410) on Monday September 12, 2011 @09:57AM (#37376168)

    It makes sense to compare the safety of different means for producing energy. the number of workers, or the cause of death is irrelevant: if more people die to produce the same amount of energy, then this kind of energy is more dangerous to produce.

  • There's never a risk of radiation leaking according to the first announcement in every case.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 12, 2011 @10:03AM (#37376244)

    Very likely the measurement death per terawatt hour is not very meaningfull.

    Depends what the discussion is about. If the discussion is at a national energy policy level, then the question is really "Given that we need X kWhr per year to do everything we want to do, what is the 'best' way to get that much power?" Then for 'best' we can decide what tradeoff we want between cheap, reliable, safe, etc. So if we're talking about the safety of various energy sources, then certainly the death rate per terawatt-hour is (one of) the right metrics.

    If a given industry can give us the same number of TW-hr with fewer injuries and deaths, then that's a good thing. (They may acheive that through fewer workers/more automation, or better safety regulations, or using an inherently less dangerous energy source, or whatever...)

    Also including solar makes not mcuh sense either, or? I mean how can you possibly die if you are involved somehow in solar energy production?

    Well that's the point, isn't it? There are fewer ways to have deaths and accidents with solar power, which makes it a safer way to generate energy. That's a point in its favor. To ignore the fact that solar is safer than many other modern energy sources does a disservice to solar, by ignoring one of its advantages.

    So why don't you compare it then with other industries that do work on the rooftop?

    If we're having a debate about the most dangerous rooftop work, then you could go ahead and do that comparison. If we're doing a comparison of the most dangerous energy source, then comparing solar to shingling a roof is a waste of time: what matters is how solar energy compares to nuclear energy, coal energy, etc.

    On the road driving to work? Falling from a roof while installing a paneel?

    Interestingly, most injuries and deaths in the nuclear industry are from industrial accidents. None (in the US, at least) are from radiation exposure. When I took a tour of a research reactor, they told me that by far the most dangerous aspect of working in the reactor building was the crane. The radiation exposure is very low on the risk of hazards that a rad worker encounters (because shielding, monitoring, etc. are so rigorous).

  • by perp (114928) on Monday September 12, 2011 @10:10AM (#37376302)
    Headline: French nuclear waste site blast kills at least 1
    Sidebar: At least 61 killed in Kenya pipeline explosion
  • by jovius (974690) on Monday September 12, 2011 @10:40AM (#37376586)

    The risk depends on where the energy is produced too, so the metric is not absolute.

    The procedures and technology can be improved. The solar/wind/hydro deaths for example are calculated from resource mining, construction and maintenance related fatalities (/resource or /profession in general population) : http://nextbigfuture.com/2011/03/deaths-per-twh-by-energy-source.html [nextbigfuture.com] That article precedes the one that OP referenced and provides the methodology.

    The nuclear comes out as the safest probably because of the strict safety guidelines and the fact that not anyone can maintain a nuclear power station. Should the same kind of methods be enforced to all energy related activities in society the renewables (and coal too) would appear a lot more safer.

  • by Quila (201335) on Monday September 12, 2011 @10:45AM (#37376652)

    It's not like they're real people or anything.

    This was one white European guy, so he matters far more than they do.

    It's also not scary radioactive material, just plain old oil.

    All this together makes it not so newsworthy.

  • by Altus (1034) on Monday September 12, 2011 @10:50AM (#37376718) Homepage

    which would be reflected in the total amount of power produced by a particular source.

  • by c0mpliant (1516433) on Monday September 12, 2011 @11:03AM (#37376848)
    And cue the blinkers to the actual problems of nuclear energy now.

    Even modern Generation IV reactors are not entirely safe, we still don't know what to do with the waste that is building up and that its not going away any time soon and not to mention that when things go wrong we're not usually just talking about it affecting a handful of people we're talking about massive environmental damage and potentially huge effects on the human population.

    I swear the people on slashdot who jump to the defence of nuclear power as soon as anything slightly related to nuclear power comes into the news really annoy me. Nuclear fision is at best a stop gap before the actual solution to our energy crisis. Yes coal is terrible, yes gas is terrible, yes oil is terrible but nuclear power is NOT a clean alternative, its as viable an alternative as "clean coal" (and no that does not mean that I'm saying we should be using "clean coal")
  • by horza (87255) on Monday September 12, 2011 @11:17AM (#37376990) Homepage

    Agreed. This is beyond pathetic. One of the first sentences is "There was no risk of a radioactive leak after the blast" and later it says there are no nuclear reactors on that site. The fact somebody was killed in an industrial accident is sad, not matter how many times it happens each day, but the nuclear element is spurious.

    There is nothing quoted that even insinuates there is a remote possibility of a leak, and so I agree with lwatcdr that the whole Slashdot post is a made-up lie. This is majorly damaging to the reputation of Slashdot.

    Phillip.

  • by gfreeman (456642) on Monday September 12, 2011 @12:38PM (#37377754)

    Once you can drive a car to Alpha Centauri that will become a meaningful statistic.

  • by tp1024 (2409684) on Monday September 12, 2011 @01:01PM (#37378026)
    It's unfortunately a very rare thing to see such mistakes corrected, so thanks a lot for doing it.

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