Nuclear Royal Commission picked a dud for adviser – the troubled French company AREVA

French nuclear watchdog urges quick resolution of Areva rescue AREVA-Medusa1planReuters, PARIS | BY MICHEL ROSE AND BENJAMIN MALLET Areva’s (AREVA.PA) financial situation is worrying, the head of France’s ASN nuclear watchdog said on Thursday, urging the loss-making nuclear company and utility EDF (EDF.PA) to wrap up a rescue plan for Areva as soon as possible.

The French government last week approved EDF’s plan to take a majority stake in Areva’s nuclear reactor business and gave the two state-owned companies a month to do a deal.

“Areva’s current financial situation, it could get better, (it) can be considered as preoccupying in terms of safety,” ASN Director Pierre-Franck Chevet told Reuters in an interview.

“That’s why we have formally asked to hear them … to ask what kind of organisation they are putting in place to fulfils the commitments they have made in terms of safety for the incoming period,” he added, noting a meeting was scheduled by the end of June.

An EDF spokeswoman declined to comment, while an Areva spokeswoman pointed to comments made by Areva Chairman Philippe Varin on Wednesday, that safety remained an absolute priority.

ASN, an independent regulatory authority, last year imposed on Areva a requirement to recondition radioactive waste stored at its La Hague facility in northern France, which could cost several billion euros and which must be provisioned for, Chevet said.

However the watchdog has no power on the merger per se and its only remit is safety. It can shut down a nuclear plant if it sees a safety issue or fine companies for any transgressions……..http://uk.reuters.com/article/2015/06/11/uk-france-nuclear-asn-idUKKBN0OR2EU20150611

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