France's nuclear watchdog announces there has been no leak after one man died in an explosion at the Marcoule nuclear plant, in the south of the country.

France's nuclear watchdog announces there has been no leak after one man died in an explosion at the Marcoule nuclear plant, in the south of the country (Reuters)

Four other people were injured, one seriously, in the blast.

The accident is said to have occurred at around 11.45am French time, after a fire in a radioactive waste store on the site, which is about 18 miles from the city of Avignon and 50 miles from the Mediterranean coast.

The Centraco facility is owned by EDF, the French nuclear power utility. Marcoule is a nuclear waste management site that does not include any reactors.

A spokesman for ASN, France's nuclear wafety watchdog, said the explosion took place near a furnace used to melt waste with levels of radioactivity ranging from low to very high.

According to France's atomic agency, the Commissariat a l'energie atomique, there has been no leak. French police say there is no risk of contamination.

France, which is the world's must nuclear-reliant country, is carrying out stress tests on its 58 nuclear reactors in the aftermath of Japan's Fukushima disaster earlier this year.