18 décembre 2018

Lingen: Status of the cause analysis of the ANF laboratory fire

The investigations concerning the causes of the fire in a laboratory of Advanced Nuclear Fuels GmbH (ANF) in Lingen on December 6, 2018 are still under progress. The first investigation results were presented in a public hearing yesterday afternoon in the Evironmental Committee of the City of Lingen. The Regulation Authority of Lower Saxony as well as ANF representatives explained the current status of the investigations and answered to questions of citizens and media representatives.

The authorized independent inspections commissioned by the authorities indicate that the heater of the laboratory evaporator overheated due to a technical fault. High temperatures then directly affected the underbody of the evaporator and the surrounding parts such that a plastic plate caught fire, which spread within the device housing. The resulting pyrolysis gases were extracted, which lead to a blockage of the first filter level and a build-up of the pyrolysis gases in the extraction system. The pyrolysis gas/air mixture ignited. Smoke escaped from the damaged housing of the laboratory device. As a result, the fire alarm was triggered.

„This is the current status of the ongoing investigations“, explained Andreas Hoff, site manager of ANF. “As safety and security are top priorities for us, we continue to work intensively to clear the matter up completely. On the basis of the results we are going to implement the required measures”.

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.