by Staff Writers
Brussels (AFP) May 29, 2017
EU anti-trust regulators on Monday cleared the buyout of Areva's troubled state-owned nuclear reactor business by EDF, the electricity supplier also owned by the French state.
Problem-prone Areva, which is 87-percent owned by the French state, has faced severe difficulties since 2011, when the Fukushima disaster in Japan called nuclear power generation into question.
In April, Paris notified the EU Commission of a big restructuring plan to save the national champion that included a previously approved 4.5 billion euros ($4.75 billion) payout from public coffers.
"The European Commission has approved EDF's proposed takeover of New NP, the Areva Group's nuclear reactors business, under the EU merger regulation," said an official statement.
Areva's woes have been compounded by construction problems affecting its first EPR reactor in Finland -- now expected to open nine years late in 2018.
In addition, Areva's former CEO Anne Lauvergeon has been charged in a case linked to the company's disastrous 2007 purchase of a Canadian uranium mining firm.
EDF agreed in June 2015 to purchase up to 75 percent of Areva's reactor unit at a valuation of around 2.7 billion euros, with the deal expected to be finalised this year.
France sees nuclear energy as a key national industry and the government has been closely involved in talks to restructure the sector.
The French state has already poured in billions to keep Areva afloat. But Areva has committed to slashing 6,000 jobs, asset sales and one billion euros in cost-cutting by 2018.
The cession of the reactor business to EDF will leave Areva with operations that include the extraction of uranium, its enrichment into fuel and then treatment of spent fuel. It will also dismantle nuclear reactors.
Homestead, United States (AFP) May 28, 2017
A gray dinosaur statue outside south Florida's largest power plant is meant to symbolize two decommissioned fossil fuel reactors, but it also could be seen to represent a nuclear industry crumpling under mounting costs. Almost a decade ago, Turkey Point was aiming to become one of the country's largest nuclear plants. Florida Power and Light had argued that such expansion was needed to m ... read more
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