I could not find any English reports on the fire so I piped some German and French articles through Google Translate. Following are the results.
From Der Standard:
Explosion in Atomkraftwerk Tricastin
02. July 2011 19:20
Fire brought under control
Paris - In the southern French nuclear plant Tricastin it came to French media reports of an explosion. A fire had broken out, but this has been brought under control in the afternoon, it said on the website of the newspaper "Dauphine Libere." People were not injured. The explosion is said to have occurred in a transformer outside the nuclear zone. (APA)
A fire hit on Saturday afternoon, the transformer unit to stop the nuclear Tricastin in the Drôme. Large plumes of black smoke escaped but according to EDF, there will be consequences on the environment.
Posted July 2, 2011 at 21:23
There have in the past been safety concerns and incidents at this particular nuclear power plant, as per Reuters and Wikipedia. A recent Bloomberg article dated 7/1/2011 details that EDF (Electricite de France SA) France's largest operator of nuclear power plants was ordered to improve the Tricastin nuclear power plant's defense against natural disasters (floods, earthquakes and fires):
An explosion at the plant TricastinA transformer of the power plant Tricastin, Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux (Drôme), exploded Saturday afternoon. The fire was quickly brought under control and the damage appears to no effect on the operation of the site."The fire was quickly extinguished." The prefecture of the Drôme, interviewed by leJDD.fr , has sought to reassure about an explosion on Saturday at the site of the nuclear plant Tricastin, in the commune of Saint-Paul-Trois-Chateaux. According to EDF, also contacted, an electrical transformer outside the nuclear zone, exploded around 15:30, causing the temporary shutdown of the plant. Material was then caught fire, releasing a large black smoke, which was witnessed by many residents and road. "The wind has not pressed the smoke on the ground and no motorist was annoyed," assures the prefecture.Internal services of EDF responded immediately, locking the access to the site. Firefighters responded just minutes later to control the fire, confined at 15:55. "No one was hurt and there was no damage to the environment," says the prefecture.Tricastin plant is subject to careful monitoring of the nuclear safety authority (ASN). The latter, in a 2007 report, stated that "the site had yet to make progress on the management of training, development permits and fire response times in case of fire that remain too long." A year later, the release of carbon, in June and September, and a leak of uranium in July, had caused great concern. ASN also announced last Thursday, have imposed new security requirements concerning the EDF reactor No. 1 of the plant. Commissioned in 1980, it might work for another ten years if the EDF gives the standards. The explosion took place Saturday in the Unit 1 power plant, fueled by the reactor 1.Simplified map of the site of Tricastin (credit: Roulex_45/Wikipedia Commons).
EDF must reinforce the earthquake buffers at the Tricastin reactor as well as improve anti-flooding measures, according to a report released yesterday by the national atomic watchdog. Nobody from EDF could be reached for comment today.