News / Europe

French Nuclear Explosion Raises Safety Concerns in France

Rescue services evacuate an injured person after an explosion at the Marcoule nuclear waste treatment site killed one person and injured four, southern France, September 12, 2011.
Rescue services evacuate an injured person after an explosion at the Marcoule nuclear waste treatment site killed one person and injured four, southern France, September 12, 2011.
Lisa Bryant

One person died and four people were injured in an explosion at a nuclear waste treatment site in France. The incident occurred as the United Nations nuclear agency begins a week-long meeting on nuclear safety and other major issues, including Iran's nuclear activities.

French authorities describe the explosion at the nuclear treatment facility as an industrial accident and say no radioactive leaks have been detected. The incident comes amid heightened concern about the safety of nuclear energy following the meltdown earlier this year at Japan's Fukushima-Daichi nuclear power plant. But French officials note there is no nuclear reactor at the site in southern France, where the explosion took place.

Nuclear safety also is on the agenda of a week-long board meeting at the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna. IAEA chief Yukio Amano gave an update on the Fukushima disaster as he opened the meeting on Monday.

"The agency's assessment now is that the reactors are essentially stable. And the expectation is that the cold shutdown of all the reactors will be achieved as planned," said Amano.

The IAEA's 35-member board is expected to approve steps to boost global nuclear safety standards during this week's meeting, although some diplomats reportedly fear the proposed regulations may be watered down. The European Union also has ordered so-called stress tests for all the region's nuclear reactors.

Amano also voiced concerns about Iran's nuclear activities. Western nations suspect Tehran is trying to build a nuclear bomb.

"The agency is increasingly concerned about the possible existence in Iran of past or current undisclosed nuclear-related activities involving military-related organizations, including activities related to the development of a nuclear payload for a missile about which the agency continues to receive new information," he said.

Amano did say Tehran had been more open about some of its activities during a recent IAEA visit of its facilities. But he said it still needs to provide more information about others. He said he would provide new details backing up his concerns in the near future.

Iran recently has offered international inspectors full supervision of its nuclear activities - but only if international sanctions against the country are lifted. Tehran insists its nuclear program is for peaceful, civilian purposes.

The IAEA board also will discuss North Korea's nuclear program, as well as Syria, which the IAEA suspects of having nearly completed a nuclear reactor that was destroyed by Israel in 2007. Amano said IAEA staff will meet with Syrian officials on the matter in October.

You May Like

India PM Modi's Party Distances Itself From Religious Conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid