EDF denies sending nuclear waste to Russia

* Daily says 13 pct of French waste dumped in Russia

* EDF says radioactive waste is kept in France

* EDF says only recyclable spent uranium sent to Russia

(Recasts, adds EDF comment, background, details)

By Muriel Boselli

PARIS, Oct 12 (Reuters) - EDF


is sending to Russia spent nuclear fuel that needs to be reprocessed, the French nuclear power producer said on Monday, denying a French press report that it was using Siberia to dump nuclear waste.

The world's largest nuclear energy producer said that radioactive waste was kept in France, where it was processed and stocked in dedicated facilities at Areva's


storage site of La Hague, on the northwestern coast of Normandy.

"Following the news reported today by (French daily newspaper) Liberation, EDF wants to point out that contrary to what has been said, no nuclear waste is transported to Russia," EDF said in an emailed comment.

Earlier on Monday an EDF spokeswoman had told Reuters the company was sending nuclear waste to Russia and that 10 to 20 percent of it was recycled and sent back to be be used in French power plants. [ID:nLC270463] The spokeswoman later clarified that she was referring to spent fuel, not to radioactive waste.

Liberation said on Monday that 13 percent of the radioactive waste produced by EDF's nuclear power plants was stored in open-air spaces in a Siberian town where access to journalists is prohibited.

EDF denied this was the case.

"It is only the recyclable uranium which is transported to Russia to be enriched," EDF said in its emailed comment.

"To be used in EDF's reactors, this uranium is enriched... in several countries such as Russia and The Netherlands, in the framework of commercial agreements, in accordance with international rules, and approved by Euratom, the European atomic energy Community," EDF added.

Liberation said it based its information on an investigation due to be broadcast on television channel Arte on Tuesday. France, where 58 nuclear reactors produce 80 percent of the country's electricity, has not found permanent underground storage with the capacity to bury nuclear energy waste it has generated in the past three decades and the waste it will produce in the future.

French nuclear authorities are considering permanently storing the waste 500 metres below ground, near Bure in eastern France, which has clay soil and where the group already has a waste-testing laboratory.

For a factbox on radioactive waste please click on [ID:nLR937238] For an interview with Areva's scientific adviser on radioactive waste [ID:nLP972512] (Editing by Anthony Barker and Marie Maitre)