Switzerland says area near Germany to be proposed for nuclear waste site

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VIENNA (Reuters) - An area of northern Switzerland near the border with Germany will be proposed as the site for a planned deep-underground nuclear waste site on which construction is due to start in 2045, the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (BFE) said on Saturday.

The so-called deep geological repository for spent nuclear fuel and other radioactive waste has yet to be approved by the government and parliament, a process that will take years.

The company behind the project, the National Cooperative for the Disposal of Radioactive Waste (Nagra), set up by nuclear power plant operators and the government, plans to propose the area of northern Laegern, north of Zurich and near the border with Germany, BFE spokesperson Marianne Zuend said.

A news conference will be held on Monday to announce the proposed location, she added.

"This is only an announcement of where they (Nagra) would like to build," Zuend said, adding the BFE was overseeing the process. "All the details will have to be elaborated now by Nagra to be put into the official demand that they will submit in about two years' time to the authorities."

(Reporting by Francois Murphy; Editing by Mark Potter)