December 21, 2018

Germany: Lower Saxony Ministry for Environment confirms: No release of radioactive substances due to the fire at the fuel production site in Lingen

On 21st December 2018, the Lower Saxony Ministry for the Environment, Energy, Construction and Climate Protection (NMU) confirmed in a press release that after the fire at the Advanced Nuclear Fuels GmbH (ANF) fuel production site in Lingen on December 6, 2018, there is no evidence of a release of radioactive substances into the environment. After the fire, the NMU commissioned the Lower Saxony State Office for Water Management, Coastal Affairs and Nature Conservation (NLWKN) to test samples from the plant and its surroundings. According to the NMU, "no anomalies" were detected.

The full press release can be found here.

"The NLWKN measurements confirm that our comprehensive safety precautions are effective. They confirm our own measurements after the fire", says Andreas Hoff, site manager of ANF in Lingen. "The safety of people and the environment is our top priority. It was therefore very important to us to have an independent authority determine as quickly as possible without any doubt that no radioactive substances had been released as a result of the fire".

Meanwhile, investigations into the causes of the laboratory fire are continuing. Initial findings indicate that the fire was caused by a technical fault in a heater of a laboratory evaporator. "As soon as we have further reliable information, we will immediately inform the public after having consulted the authorities," explains Hoff.

On the evening of December 6, 2018, a fire broke out in a laboratory of the fuel element production site of ANF in Lingen. The fire was extinguished quickly. Subsequent measurements of the fire brigade proved that there were no release of radioactive substances into the environment. Nobody was injured.

ANF in Lingen

Advanced Nuclear Fuels GmbH (ANF), based in Lingen, Germany, is a subsidiary of Framatome GmbH. ANF is part of the world's leading nuclear technology company Framatome SAS, Paris, a subsidiary of the EDF Group. ANF manufactures fuel assemblies, intermediate products and fuel assembly components for nuclear power plants on behalf of Framatome for the European and worldwide market to supply nuclear power plants with nuclear fuel.

With 309 employees, fuel assemblies for pressurized and boiling water reactors as well as special powder and tablet products are manufactured at the Lingen plant. Recently, the site has also received orders for the conversion and dismantling of fuel assemblies not yet in use, thus helping to keep shutdown German nuclear power plants free of nuclear fuel. Special competencies in the development and construction of manufacturing technologies are another cornerstone of the company and ensure high manufacturing quality and thus safety in nuclear power plants outside Germany as well. ANF offers initial and advanced training for experts in radiation protection and additional nuclear-specialist personnel.