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CIVIL NUCLEAR
France's 'Atomic Anne' charged over nuclear deal
By Andréa BAMBINO
Paris (AFP) May 13, 2016


French nuclear giant Areva's former boss Anne Lauvergeon was charged Friday as part of a probe linked to its disastrous 2007 purchase of a Canadian uranium mining firm, Uramin.

"Atomic Anne" as she is known, who ran the group from 2001 to 2011, faces questioning specifically for presenting and publishing false accounts and spreading false information, a judicial source said after a day-long hearing.

Investigators have been following two lines of inquiry since 2014, one into the purchase of Uramin, and the other into the presentation of Areva's group accounts in 2010 and 2011.

Her husband, energy sector adviser Olivier Fric, was charged in March with insider trading as part of the former probe.

Lauvergeon faces questioning over the the accounting allegations -- specifically examining magistrates want to know if she applied pressure for the group's accounts to downplay the collapse in Uramin's value in order to save her own job.

The charges are part of a wider probe into the $2.5 billion (1.8 billion euros at the time) purchase by Areva of Uramin at a height of demand for enriched uranium.

Areva was later forced to revalue its Uramin uranium mines to only 410 million euros.

Lauvergeon was a key economics advisor to late French president Francois Mitterrand before being named to head nuclear energy agency Cogema which she merged with Framatome to form Areva. She left Areva in 2011.

She has been included in Forbes's list of the world's most influential women.

arb-bl-nal/mt/pdw

AREVA


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