The NGO calls in particular for the termination of contracts with the Russian group Rosatom and its subsidiaries.

The Rosatom group stand at the World Nuclear Exhibition in Le Bourget (Ile-de-France) on June 28, 2016. (Illustrative image) (AFP)

Despite the war in Ukraine, France continues to import uranium from Russia. “Dozens of drums of enriched uranium and ten containers of natural uranium from Russia” were transported by cargo ship to the port of Dunkirk on Tuesday, November 29, to be loaded “on board a train and several trucks whose destinations could be Pierrelatte in France and/or Lingen, Germany,” Greenpeace said.

Exchanges which caused a strong reaction from the NGO which calls on the French government to stop “contracts on the uranium trade” between France and Russia while deliveries continue despite the war, in the absence of international sanctions. on Russian civilian nuclear power. In a press release, “Greenpeace demands the definitive cessation of all nuclear trade with Russia”.

Framatome confirms deliveries

Greenpeace also calls for “the termination of all ongoing contracts between the French nuclear industry and Rosatom [the Russian nuclear giant] and its subsidiaries, starting with the contracts concerning the trade in uranium between Tenex, a subsidiary of Rosatom, and respectively EDF and Orano”.

While the Ukrainian conflict rages, “it’s business as usual between France, Europe and Russia. Scandalous”, denounces Pauline Boyer, in charge of nuclear and energy transition campaigns for Greenpeace France.

The nuclear power plant builder and fuel supplier Framatome, a subsidiary of EDF, confirmed to AFP on Tuesday evening that the load identified in Dunkirk indeed concerned a “delivery of material for the manufacture of nuclear fuels” bound for its factory. of Romans-sur-Isère (Drôme). This fuel is then intended for its “customers and in particular the French nuclear fleet”, he specified.

Uranium recycling

The nuclear group Orano (ex-Areva), another major player in the sector, for its part informed AFP that “these transports did not concern either its materials or its installations”. On the other hand, he confirmed having delivered to Russia “five or six” shipments of reprocessed uranium (URT) which he owned until October, to Rosatom’s Seversk plant, under a contract signed in 2020 covering a total volume of 1,150 tonnes.

From fuel processing, URT (or recycled uranium) can be reused to produce new fuel after being converted and then re-enriched. This URT was exported to Russia because Orano “does not have a conversion workshop”, underlined the spokesperson. In 2018, EDF signed a contract worth 600 million euros with a subsidiary of Rosatom, Tenex, for “the recycling of reprocessed uranium from EDF”. international”, commented EDF in an email addressed to AFP, without referring to a particular contract.