The Wall Street Journal reported earier today:
French state-controlled utility Electricité de France SA said late Thursday that a leak was detected at one of its nuclear reactors in northwestern France, after two small fires were extinguished at the site earlier in the day.
France’s nuclear regulator said it had provisionally ranked the leak as a low-level incident and had returned to normal management of the situation after shifting to crisis mode earlier in the day.
In a statement, EDF said that a faulty joint on a pump used to cool the reactor had caused a leak inside the reactor building of its nuclear power station in Penly, Normandy.
The water from the leak is currently collected in circuits which exist for this use, the company said.
The reactor, which automatically halted after the fire, continues to be cooled normally and the plant teams are working to reduce the pressure and the temperature of the water in the circuit, according to EDF.
Even after a reactor is halted, the nuclear fuel continues to generate heat and must be cooled continuously.
French nuclear safety body, Autorité de Sureté Nucléaire, said it continues to analyze the situation and follow its evolution.
The Wall Street Journal also reported this about the fires:
Earlier in the evening, a spokeswoman for EDF said that lubricant from one of the reactor’s cooling pumps had leaked on the floor, generating smoke and small flames inside the reactor building.
The two small fires were extinguished Thursday afternoon.