Nuclear plant explosion: 'Public should have had facts earlier'

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EMERGENCY communication procedures between Jersey and French authorities were put into action yesterday following an explosion at the Flamanville nuclear plant.

The States police were contacted by the facility, which is 22 miles away on the Normandy coast, to inform the force that although there had been an incident, there was no nuclear threat.

Mark James, the Island's chief fire officer and emergency planning officer, said that notification systems 'worked exactly as they were meant to work'.

He said: 'The police control room were first contacted by Flamanville at 10.52 am in a courtesy call to say that there had been an incident but that it was not nuclear.

'Then at 11.15 am, we received another call with more information to say that the incident was under control and that five people were being treated for smoke inhalation.

However, despite mechanisms between the nuclear plant and Jersey authorities working as they should, Mr James said that information could have been distributed to the public more quickly.

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