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ST. PETERSBURG, Russia - An explosion ripped through a smelter at a nuclear power plant outside the northern city of St. Petersburg, badly injuring three people, Russia’s nuclear agency said Friday.

Rosenergoatom said radiation levels were not affected as the reactor in that part of the Leningrad nuclear plant was undergoing repairs and not in operation at the time. But Thursday’s blast raised questions about safety at an onsite scrap metal operation.

The blast caused molten metal to burst out of the smelter, where a private company was reprocessing scrap metal, said a plant spokesman, Sergei Averyanov
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