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Explosion At French Nuclear Site Kills One 262

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 elrous0 ( 869638 ) * on Monday September 12, 2011 @09:40AM (#37375986)

    In other news, 30 coal miners die each year in the U.S. alone and no one gives a rats ass.

    Deaths per terawatt hour (from nextbigfuture.com [nextbigfuture.com]):

    Coal – world average: 161
    Coal – China: 278
    Coal – USA: 15
    Oil: 36
    Natural Gas: 4
    Biofuel/Biomass: 12
    Peat: 12
    Solar: 0.44
    Wind: 0.15
    Hydro: 0.10
    Nuclear: 0.04

    • by kent_eh ( 543303 ) on Monday September 12, 2011 @09:59AM (#37376212)
      In other news:
      a petroleum pipeline explosion has killed at least 100 [bbc.co.uk] so far today in Kenya.
      From linked article:

      "The scene is horrific, with charred bodies all around. I cannot differentiate between men and women or boys and girls. All that is left are bones, and the only way to identify the children is from their smaller skeletons."
      • 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.

      • 100 utter and total fools, with no regard for there own life, ran *toward* rather than *away* from a leaking fuel line, to collect a bucket or cup of fuel. Some of these *complete idiots* were even stupid enough to be smoking while collecting the highly flammable fuel, and some topped even that astounding level of moronic sensibility by allowing children to accompany them, when any normal human with a shred of decency in his heart would have at least driven the soon to be doomed youths far away.. A su
        • Similar thing happened in India. Tanker truck carrying kerosene overturned, villagers gathered around to collect the leaking kerosene. Dozens died. There was this oil worker in texas who lit a lighter to because it was too dark to inside the gasoline storage tank. There was a squatter's slum in a beach in Ennore, Tamil Nadu, India near the refinery. The oil pipeline from the jetty to the refinery was passing under. Some enterprising slum dweller dug a pit to find the pipeline, built a hut over the pit, punc
        • Sure, that's one way of putting it. Another way would be that this pipeline was running right under a slum housing area, and was literally underneath many homes. Not everyone who died in this tragedy was a "complete idiot", and only a heartless fucking idiot would try to tell the story as such.
          • some illegally built their shacks right over the pipeline in an industrial area, yes.
    • 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
    • does it take into account that so MUCH more coal has been used and is being used than nuclear power.

      How many more nuclear debacles would there be if every municipality in the US had a nuclear power plant the way there is a coal fired electrical plant now?

      Would radioactive zones that people had to stay away from become a common every day occurrence?

      • does it take into account that so MUCH more coal has been used and is being used than nuclear power.

        nuclear power accounts for about 1/3 the electricity that coal power does in the USA.

        How many more nuclear debacles would there be if every municipality in the US had a nuclear power plant the way there is a coal fired electrical plant now?

        See above. It implies about four times as many "debacles". Note that we've only managed ONE "debacle" in the USA over the last half century (TMI).

        Would radioactive zone

    • by Chrisq ( 894406 ) on Monday September 12, 2011 @10:50AM (#37376712)
      Also, if you had a starship that could travel to Alpha Centauri killing half the passengers it would be the safest form of transport - when measured by the aircraft industry standard terms of deaths per passenger mile.

      (If you think this is off-topic - think about it some more)
    • In other news, 30 coal miners die each year in the U.S. alone and no one gives a rats ass

      There are far more deaths among the *users* of those fuel sources than the producers. In the USA 36,600 deaths from automobiles, 1000 from railroads, 140 from aircraft....and even 1,000 annually of the green bicyclers get slaughtered by those using the fuel to get around. Do you give a rat's ass about that? no? then shaddap...
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by c0mpliant ( 1516433 )
      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
    • The problem with these statistics is that they are unreliable for long term prospection; i.e. one big incident for nuclear or hydro (dam collapse) near populated areas would skew the result for all times.

    • And everyone knows that coal is only used for energy production, nothing else, like cooking steel or something the like ...

    • by Rei ( 128717 )

      Your link is one of the most irresponsible, shoddy pieces of "reporting" I've seen in a long time. I followed back their web of references until I finally found their source [iaea.org]. The numbers for coal cited by their source are 0.04-0.14 or 0.13-0.23 occupational deaths per TWh for coal, and 0.01-1.23, 0.65, or 0.62 public fatalities per TWh for nuclear and 0.02-0.09, 0.04, or 0.02 occupational fatalities per kWh.

      In short, their numbers cited are total BS.

      Let's look at the rest of the graph that the author *did

  • RTFA! (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 12, 2011 @09:43AM (#37376020)

    The article states that there is NO risk of a radioactive leak. Geeezuz H Me, couldn't someone vet this stuff before it gets posted?

    • Re:RTFA! (Score:4, Informative)

      by alci63 ( 1856480 ) on Monday September 12, 2011 @09:51AM (#37376114)
      Well... the article says the Nuclear Safety Authority _says_ there is no risk of radioactive leak. They also said the radioactive cloud from Tchernobyl stopped at the country borders :-)
      • No, the Russian government said that, and they said that after everyone knew about it because the cloud had already made it to another country. This explosion was in a waste furnace. It doesn't produce radiation. The only risk is very local depending on how much contamination was in the furnace at the time, which wouldn't be a whole lot. This isn't a reactor.
      • by LWATCDR ( 28044 )

        Okay how about this. Solar panels could kill Billions as a headline.
        Hey if we made enough of them and dropped them from a good height on to people they could. Let's always post what could happen in every headline shall we. France could attack Russia, hey it happened before. Nazis could take power in the next German elections. Or better yet Obama could order nation wide martial law and suspends elections.

        Their is as much evidence of those happening as their was for a leak at that facility.

    • by Jawnn ( 445279 )

      The article states that there is NO risk of a radioactive leak. Geeezuz H Me, couldn't someone vet this stuff before it gets posted?

      LOL... You must be new here.

  • by LWATCDR ( 28044 ) on Monday September 12, 2011 @09:46AM (#37376056) Homepage Journal

    Freak, an oven exploded killing a working in the plant. There IS NO LEAK. THEY EXPECT NO LEAK. THEY DO NOT EXPECT A LEAK!
    If this was a Lego factory no one would care.
    We had two workers die at my local power plant. They where putting giant snow flakes on the smoke stacks for Christmas! Really this is just to the point of being shameful.
    From the link in the story!!!!!!!!!!
    "There was no risk of a radioactive leak after the blast, caused by a fire near a furnace in the Centraco radioactive waste storage site, said officials."
    REALLY JUST SHUT DOWN SLASHDOT your are killing it with your abuse!

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by drinkypoo ( 153816 )

      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 LWATCDR ( 28044 )

        A no they didn't and by no they don't pollute.
        That power plant has not been run in probably more than a decade but it is still manned and just sits there. It is a running joke.

      • Those workers probably didn't decide to put the snowflakes there. Please aim your death wishes at the people responsible.
    • by cultiv8 ( 1660093 ) on Monday September 12, 2011 @09:58AM (#37376178) Homepage
      My favorite line FTA:

      There are no nuclear reactors at the southern French site

    • by nstlgc ( 945418 )
      u mad bro?
      • by LWATCDR ( 28044 )

        Yes I am. This level of crap makes me crazy. Not to mention that Slashdot was my favorite site. While not perfect the community was actually much better behaved and reasonable than most other communities plus it was News For Nerds and did't have the crap spin that other sites had.
        Samzenpus who posted this should be let go for allowing such garbage on the front page. It isn't a human error but an intentional lie that was posted on the front page of Slashdot.

        • 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.


          • by LWATCDR ( 28044 )

            Well they edited the headline which is good. Now the question is will they learn from this or just do it again.

    • This is shameful. Come on I know Slashdot is like a skin mag and we don't really read it for the articles, but this is Daily Mail-quality reporting here.

    • samzenpus = timothy = kdawson. They all post inflammatory, poorly researched bullshit.

      It's almost as though they want people to leave /.
    • Would this be the same "they" who concocted the tissue of lies and half truths regarding the damage to the Fukushima plant, or is it some other reputable "they" who always tell the truth, no matter the personal cost, when something bad happens to their employers on their watch?

      Frankly, in light of the current reputation of the nuclear industry, I think it's understandable people might be a little oversensitive to, ooh, I don't know, explosions at a nuclear waste processing site.

      Rather a healthy skepti
      • by Oxygen99 ( 634999 ) on Monday September 12, 2011 @10:36AM (#37376554)
        Heh, I know it's bad form to reply to your own post, but a quote from the Guardian story on this made me laugh.

        The papers said the body of one male worker at the plant had been "found carbonised", but it added that there was no evidence that the explosion had "caused any radioactive leak".

        A spokesman for the French atomic energy authority told journalists: "For the moment, there is nothing coming out."

        Emphasis, mine, obviously.
      • by LWATCDR ( 28044 )

        "Rather a healthy skepticism about the words of a tarnished industry than a collective head in the sand blindly accepting the word of PR as truth. Sheesh. You're just as bad as those who insist on claiming the sky is falling all the time."

        So make it up?
        This is not skepticism this is out and out fabrication. No where in the linked article did it say that there was any risk of a leak. Everything said that there was no leak.
        The explosion was in an oven used to burn old coveralls and their are no reactor

    • Here's another way of putting it (with apologies to Mel Brooks):

      Throw up your lunch!
      Posts incorrect!
      Errors? a bunch!
      Front page a wreck!
      You'll be surprised
      You're making a French mistake.

    • by Toonol ( 1057698 )
      Some day we're going to get a story about a worker accidentally impaled by a forklift in a nuclear plant's parking lot, and the headline will be "Fatality at Nuke Plant: Risk of Leak?"
  • From Here : (Score:5, Funny)

    by dvaldenaire ( 52153 ) on Monday September 12, 2011 @09:47AM (#37376070) Homepage

    Hi there,

    I am french, and i can tell you all : there are no problem in nuclear here. Never. Go back to sleep. Thanks for your attention.

    In fact, here in France, it is almost illegal to put "problem" and "nuclear" in the same sentence without any negation...

    • In fact, here in France, it is almost illegal to put "problem" and "nuclear" in the same sentence without any negation...

      Is that one of Sarkozy's new policies, because I hear he really has issues with that "freedom" thing...?

    • Re:From Here : (Score:4, Interesting)

      by jellomizer ( 103300 ) on Monday September 12, 2011 @10:00AM (#37376224)

      I am a big supporter of nuclear Energy and I think a lot of the world has an irrational fear of nuclear energy. However to ignore and not respects the dangers of it too is just as irresponsible. Part of the reason for Nuclear Energy Safety is the fact that people do have a healthy fear of it. Preventing people from cutting corners on safety.

  • 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.
  • I would pine for thee if it was any better, but alas I don't think it was. But this story warms me cockles and is a gentle push in the never coming back here again direction.
  • by Lookin4Trouble ( 1112649 ) on Monday September 12, 2011 @10:14AM (#37376334)
    QTFA: "There was no risk of a radioactive leak after the blast..."
  • TFA claims that what they burn averages nearly 10,000Bq/kg, yet the 4 tonnes in the oven accounts for 63,000Bq?

    Maybe they gave an average over their whole activity, and the explosion occured when they were burning extremely low activity waste, but phrased like that it's very confusing. Anyone has more info?

    Note that either way we're talking about a negligible amount of radiation (the average human being generates about 8,000Bq.)

  • by asylumx ( 881307 ) on Monday September 12, 2011 @10:23AM (#37376432)

    There was no risk of a radioactive leak after the blast

    Slashdot, please fix the damned headline.

  • 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.

Exceptions prove the rule, and wreck the budget. -- Miller