May 12, 2015 / 12:58 PM / in 3 years

French police investigate fires near three nuclear sites

PARIS (Reuters) - French police are investigating fires that caused minor damage near three nuclear installations, state-owned utility EDF and atomic research agency CEA said on Tuesday.

Fires broke out on Monday morning at a weather station near EDF’s former Brennilis nuclear power station in Brittany and another near its Belleville nuclear plant on the Loire river, a spokeswoman said.

She said the fire had damaged equipment belonging to the IRSN nuclear research institute used to measure pollution and radioactivity at the weather stations, which are each about 1.5 kilometers away from the nuclear plants.

“Police investigations are ongoing,” the EDF spokeswoman said.

Another fire was started on Monday evening at a weather station close to atomic research institute CEA’s Valduc site in Burgundy where nuclear weapons are manufactured and dismantled.

“There was the beginning of a fire, but it was quickly put out and there were no real consequences,” a CEA spokesman said, adding that a complaint had been filed with police.

The simultaneous incidents are reminiscent of drones that flew over French nuclear plants last year which raised safety concerns.

Reporting by Michel Rose; editing by Jason Neely

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