In a facility that incinerates and melts slightly radioactive waste, a fire outbreak was detected in an automatic reconditioning workshop for waste scheduled for incineration. The site’s emergency response team quickly controlled the blaze. This workshop was assigned, among other things, to crush the waste. The outbreak was due to the presence of flammable solvents in the waste material. Though forbidden, such a presence proved difficult to detect.
Expert analyses performed on the waste being treated when the incident arose led the facility operator to conclude that flasks of solvents originating from a research centre had caused this incident. The operator suspended all acceptance of waste from this centre and made any subsequent acceptance contingent upon the centre’s implementation of corrective actions. This incident had no impact on either the personnel or the environment. The Nuclear Safety Authority (NSA) subjected any restart of the particular workshop to its approval and proceeded by conducting a site inspection that exposed malfunctions in how guidelines were being applied. Given these findings, the incident was reclassified by the NSA as a level 1 on the INES scale.