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Emergency Situations Ministry rejects NPP smelter blast reports

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MOSCOW, December 16 (RIA Novosti) -The Emergency Situations Ministry appeared to reject a report from the nuclear industry's management body Friday that an explosion had occurred at the Leningrad Nuclear Power Plant.

According to the ministry, the blast happened on the grounds of Ecomet, Russia's first private company working with radiation technologies, in the industrial zone of the nearby city of Sosnovy Bor, rather than at a smelter at the plant.

A ministry spokesman, though, did confirm that three people had been seriously injured and hospitalized.

Earlier, Rosenergoatom said that three people had been injured in an explosion at a smelter in the second unit of the NNP that had occurred at about 3:00 a.m. Moscow time (12:00 a.m. GMT) on December 15. A spokesman said radiation levels remained normal.

He added that the second unit was currently out of action and the radiation levels did not exceed 16 micro-roentgen per hour, which is within the norm.

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