09/02/2017 13:55 SAST | Updated 09/02/2017 14:15 SAST

Explosion Takes French Nuclear Power Station Off Line

Fire at Flamanville takes reactor off grid, 'no associated nuclear risk', says French government official.

REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
The construction site of the third-generation European pressurised water nuclear reactor (EPR) in Flamanville, France, in November 2016.

A fire caused an explosion at EDF's Flamanville nuclear power plant in northern France on Thursday, leading the utility to take a reactor offline, but there was no associated nuclear risk, EDF and a local government official said on Thursday.

State-owned EDF said in a statement a fire in a machine room caused the explosion in a "non-nuclear" part of the power station.

It added that the fire had been brought under control by its team there and that reactor number 1 had been disconnected from the grid.

It said there were no injuries but five people had been affected by fumes.

The Flamanville 1 and 2 reactors, which each have a electricity generating capacity of 1,300 megawatts, were built in the 1980s. A new reactor is being built at the site but the explosion was not there, a spokeswoman said.

The nuclear safety authority ASN said it had no information and could not immediately comment.