|Headquarters||Courbevoie, Paris, France|
|Philippe Varin (Chairman)
Philippe Knoche (acting CEO)
|Products||Nuclear power, Uranium, Electricity, Renewable energy|
Number of employees
Areva is a French multinational group specializing in nuclear power and renewable energy headquartered in Paris La Défense. Areva is majority owned by the French state, through French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (54.37%), Banque publique d'investissement (3.32%), and Agence des participations de l'État (28.83%). Moreover, Électricité de France of which the French government has a majority ownership stake, owned 2.24%; Kuwait Investment Authority owned 4.82% as the second largest shareholder after the French state.
In 2017 the majority of its reactor business (Areva NP) will be sold to Électricité de France, while Areva will quit the new company ("New NP") by 2020. Japan Nuclear Fuel Limited and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries will take a 5% stake each in another new company, which will run the nuclear fuel business of Areva ("NewCo").
- 1 History
- 2 Business lines
- 3 Subsidiaries
- 4 Management
- 5 Recent finance
- 6 Nuclear reactor designs
- 7 Worldwide presence
- 8 Notable incidents
- 9 Sport sponsoring
- 10 See also
- 11 References
- 12 External links
Areva has its roots in Framatome, which was founded in 1958 by several companies of the French industrial giant The Schneider Group along with Empain, Merlin Gérin, and the American Westinghouse, in order to license Westinghouse's pressurized water reactor (PWR) technology and develop a bid for Chooz A (in France). Called Franco-Américaine de Constructions Atomiques (Framatome), the original company consisted of four engineers, one from each of the parent companies. The original mission of the company was to act as a nuclear engineering firm and to develop a nuclear power plant that was to be identical to Westinghouse's existing product specifications. The first European plant of Westinghouse design was by then already under construction in Italy.
A formal contract was signed in September 1961 for Framatome to deliver a turnkey system, that is, not only the reactor, but an entire, ready-to-use system of piping, cabling, supports, and other auxiliary systems, propelling Framatome from a nuclear engineering firm to an industrial contractor.
In January 1976, Westinghouse agreed to sell its remaining 15 percent share to Creusot-Loire, which now owned 66 percent, and to cede complete marketing independence to Framatome. In February, the Belgian Édouard-Jean Empain sold his 35 percent interest in Creusot-Loire to Paribas, a French government-linked banking group.
A January 1982 company reorganization simultaneously strengthened French public and private control of the company by allowing Creusot-Loire to increase its share of the company while increasing CEA say in the running of the firm. In 2001, German company Siemens' nuclear business was merged into Framatome. Framatome and Siemens had been officially cooperating since 1989 for the development of the European Pressurized Reactor (EPR).
Creation of Areva
Areva was created on 3 April 2001, by the merger of Framatome (now Areva NP), Cogema (now Areva NC) and Technicatome (now Areva TA). It was based on the structure of its precursor, CEA-Industrie, and Anne Lauvergeon was named CEO. In 2009, Siemens sold its remaining shares of Areva NP.
Jean-Pierre Raffarin, the former Prime Minister of France, government announced the privatization of Areva in 2003, but it was postponed several times, the French government opting finally for the privatization of GDF and EDF. At the end of October 2005, French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin announced that he had suspended the privatization process.
In 2006, Areva created its Renewable Energies Business Group. Creusot Forge and Creusot Mécanique merged into the Areva group, even though there were quality concerns over Creusot Forge's work.
In December 2011, Areva suspended building work at several sites in France, Africa and the United States, one day after forecasting a €1.6 billion ($2.1 billion) loss. Areva halted "capacity extensions" at its La Hague Reprocessing Plant, in northern France, at its Melox factory in the southwest, and at two sites attached to its Tricastin power plant in the south. Work has also stopped on extensions to uranium mines in Bakouma in the Central African Republic, Trekkopje in Namibia, and Ryst Kuil in South Africa, and caused a potential delay in construction until a capital solution is secured for the Eagle Rock Enrichment Facility in the United States.
Areva wrote off most of the $2.5 billion purchase cost of Canadian uranium mining company Uramin, purchased in 2007, after concluding that its uranium ore deposits were of negligible value.
In September 2014 Standard & Poor's stated it might downgrade Areva’s debt following weak first-half results, leading to Areva indicating it would cut capital spending and dispose of some assets. In October 2014, CEO Luc Oursel took a leave of absence for health reasons. He died in December of the same year.
On 19 November 2014 Areva suspended its financial targets for 2015/2016 as a result of delays on its Finnish project and "lacklustre" nuclear market. As a result, on 20 November 2014 Standard & Poor's downgraded Areva long-term debt to BB+ and short-term-debt to A-3. This led to difficulties for Areva to raise money on the financial market, however according to S&P Areva has a "high cash cushion". Some analysts speculate that Areva needs a 1.5-2 billion euro capital increase – at the moment the French government (Second Valls Government) is unwilling to increase capital for the state-owned company.
In March 2015 Standard & Poor's further downgraded Areva's credit rating to BB- after Areva posted a €4.8 billion loss for 2014. Areva intends to cut costs to save about €1 billion annually by 2017, and to sell €450 million of assets by 2017.
The French government is considering a rescue plan which may include some form of bailout from Électricité de France (EDF). In May, Areva announced that it expected to cut 5,000 to 6,000 jobs out of its 42,000 employees globally. In July 2015, EDF agreed to a majority stake in Areva NP. Bernard Fontana has been appointed CEO of Areva NP as of 1 September 2015. On October 31st 2015, it was announced that Mitsubishi Heavy Industries would be taking an equity stake in Areva NP (up to 34 percent), possibly eventually extending it to one in Areva as a whole. MHI decided to take this step because of Areva NP's vital role in their Atmea reactor joint venture.
In July 2015 EDF valued Areva NP at €2.7 billion ($2.9 billion) and agreed to take a majority stake in Areva NP, following a French government instruction they create a "global strategic partnership".
In June 2016 Areva's restructuring plans were made public, including the sale of the majority of its reactor business to EDF in 2017, excluding the Olkiluoto 3 EPR under construction in Finland which will remain with Areva SA.
Following a discovery at the Flamanville Nuclear Power Plant, about 400 large steel forgings manufactured by Le Creusot Forge since 1965 have been found to have carbon-content irregularities that weakened the steel. A widespread programme of reactor checks was started involving a progressive programme of reactor shutdowns, likely to continue over the winter high electricity demand period into 2017. This caused power price increases in Europe as France increased electricity imports, especially from Germany, to augment supply. As of late October 2016, 20 of France's 58 reactors are offline. These steel quality concerns may prevent the regulator giving the life extensions from 40 to 50 years, that had been assumed by energy planners, for many reactors. In December 2016 the Wall Street Journal characterised the problem as a "decades long coverup of manufacturing problems", with Areva executives acknowledging that Le Creusot had been falsifying documents.
In December 2016 international inspectors at Le Creusot Forge found evidence of recent doctored paperwork, which had not been detected by Areva’s independent quality control checks. The team concluded that they "were not confident that the improvement programmes and associated remedial actions ... were sufficiently resourced, prioritised and integrated in order to bring about sustained improvements in manufacturing performance and nuclear safety culture".
On 1 March 2017 Areva published figures for 2016 (loss 665 million Euro) and announced some information about the planned restructuring.
On 21 March 2017 Japan Nuclear Fuel Limited (JNFL) and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) agreed to each take a 5% stake in the restructured Areva nuclear reactor business for €250 million each, dependent on the Flamanville 3 reactor pressure vessel and other large steel forgings passing safety tests. Some days later, Toshiba's nuclear branch (Westinghouse Electric Company) filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
In April 2017 Autorité de sûreté nucléaire (ASN) published the requirements for forging to resume at Le Creusot Forge. In August 2017 ASN published a draft decision requiring the examination of Le Creusot Forge manufacturing records of all components during scheduled reactor refuelling outages.
Areva is an international company in nuclear and renewable energy. It is the only company with a presence in each industrial activity linked to nuclear energy: mining, chemistry, enrichment, fuel assembly, reprocessing, engineering, nuclear propulsion and reactors, treatment, recycling, stabilization and dismantling. Areva offers technological solutions for CO₂-free energy partly through Areva Renewables.
Areva’s activities are divided into 5 Business Groups:
- Mining: combines operations related to uranium exploration, extraction, processing and reclamation of sites.
- Front End: encompasses uranium conversion and enrichment, nuclear fuel design and production.
- Reactors and Services: designs and builds nuclear power plants, naval propulsion reactors and research reactors, and manufactures related equipment.
- Back End: manages all operations in the back end of the nuclear cycle, from used nuclear fuel recycling to the dismantling and value development of nuclear facilities.
- Renewable Energies: develops and manages a portfolio of operations revolving around 4 renewable energies: wind energy, bioenergy, solar power, and hydrogen power, as well as energy storage.
Current subsidiaries include Euriware and SAFRAN.
Mining Business Group
The Mining Business Group manages the exploration of uranium ore, its extraction, and processing, as well as the restoration of sites after mine closure. Areva’s Mining Business Group has staff on five continents and operates uranium production sites in Canada, Kazakhstan, and Niger. As of the end of 2013, the Mining Business Group employed 4,463 people.
Uranium production accounted for 19 percent of Areva's consolidated revenue in 2013.
Front End Business Group
The Front End Business Group secures access to fuel for Areva’s customers, and oversees operations to convert uranium into nuclear fuel, including the chemical conversion of ore into uranium hexaﬂuoride, the enrichment of uranium, and the design and production of fuel for nuclear reactors. As of the end of 2013, 8,555 people worked for Areva’s Front End Business Group. The Business Group accounted for 24 percent of Areva’s consolidated revenue. In 2013, the Front End Business Group saw a 6.8 percent revenue increase to $3 billion.
The Front End Business Group is divided into two main business units:
- The Chemistry and Enrichment Business Units, which were previously, separate units of the Front End Business Group, merged to become one at the start of 2013. On the Chemistry side, the Unit focuses on converting natural uranium into uranium hexafluoride. The Enrichment side of the Unit supplies clients with enrichment services.
- The Fuel Business Unit is responsible for fuel design and production, and markets fuel-related engineering services. It markets conventional enriched uranium oxide fuel as well as MOX fuel and enriched reprocessed uranium fuel.
Reactors & Services Business Group
The Reactors & Services Business Group designs and builds Pressurized Water Reactors (PWR) and Boiling Water Reactors (BWR). The Business Group also designs and builds naval propulsion and research reactors and offers products to service nuclear reactors.
The Business Group had 15,592 employees at the end of 2013 and generated 36 percent of Areva’s revenue in the same year. It is split into six business units:
- New Builds Business Unit: Handles design and construction of new nuclear reactors
- Installed Based Business Unit: Offers products for existing nuclear reactors
- Propulsion & Research Reactors Business Unit: Focuses on naval propulsion and research reactors
- Equipment Business Unit: Manufactures components for the nuclear steam supply system
- Products & Technology Business Unit: Manages the standardization and certiﬁcation of nuclear products and technologies
- Nuclear Measurements Business Unit: Develops and markets systems to detect and measure radioactivity
Back End Business Group
The Back End Business Group develops recycling solutions for used fuel for reuse in reactors. It also offers storage and transportation solutions for radioactive material, and site rehabilitation at nuclear facilities. At the end of 2013, the Business Group had 11,583 employees and made up for 19 percent of Areva’s revenue. Based in Europe and North America, the Back End Business Group is divided into five Business Units:
- Recycling Business Unit – helps customers recycle 96% of used fuel into fresh fuel
- International Projects Business Unit – develops the Business Group’s facilities for international markets
- Dismantling & Decommissioning Business Unit – designs and oversees the dismantling and rehabilitation of nuclear sites
- Cleanup Business Unit – operates waste treatment and decontamination facilities and maintenance logistics
- Logistics Business Unit – design and production of equipment to transport and store nuclear materials, and organization of nuclear material transportation
Renewable Energies Business Group
Areva created its global Renewable Energies Business Group in 2006 as an expansion of its clean energy portfolio with renewable energy. This group represents four business lines: concentrated solar power, offshore wind power, biomass power, and hydrogen power storage and distribution. The Renewable Energies Business Group has offices in the United States, Brazil, India and France.
Concentrated Solar Power
In February 2010, Areva formed Areva Solar with its acquisition of US-based Ausra, a provider of concentrated solar power solutions using Compact Linear Fresnel Reflector (CLFR) technology. Headquartered in Mountain View, California, Areva Solar operates a 5MWe solar power plant in Bakersfield, California, at its Kimberlina Solar Thermal Energy Plant development facility. Areva Solar markets its solar boiler technology in three formats: as a standalone solar power plant generating 50MW+ of electricity, as a solar booster (20-50MW) adding solar steam power to an existing fossil-fuel power plant for carbon mitigation, and as an industrial steam provider for food, oil, desalination and other processes. Areva Solar’s boilers attain 750-degree F superheated steam, and are the first and only solar boiler to receive S-Stamp certification by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).
In April 2012, Areva announced that it would build a concentrated solar power (CSP) installation in Rajasthan, India. It will be Asia’s largest CSP installation and will be operated by India’s Reliance Power Limited.
Offshore wind power
At its Bremerhaven, Germany manufacturing facility, Areva Wind produces 5MW wind turbines specifically designed and sealed for offshore environments. The company designs, manufactures, assembles and commissions its wind turbines and blades for offshore wind projects, notably in the North Sea.
In the summer of 2009, AREVA Wind installed the first 6 M5000 turbines of the Alpha Ventus project in the North Sea. These are located about 45 kilometers from the German island of Borkum, at a depth of 30 meters. It is the first German wind energy park to be constructed out at sea under offshore conditions and in such deep water. The M5000 turbine has an output of 5MW at an average wind speed of around 12 meters per second. From the ocean’s surface to the top tip of the blade rotation, an Areva Wind turbine assembly stands taller (616 feet / 188 meters) than the Washington Monument (555 feet / 169 meters).
Areva Wind designs, assembles, installs and commissions 5-Megawatt wind turbines for offshore wind farms, a growing international industry. Each turbine can produce enough electricity to power 4,000 to 5,000 homes. Areva also designs and manufactures rotor blades through its subsidiary Areva Blades.
In January 2014, Areva and Spain’s wind turbine manufacturer Gamesa Corporación Tecnológica announced a preliminary deal to create a joint venture (Adwen) in the offshore wind power business. Adwen is a source of contention during negotiations between Gamesa and Siemens Wind Power regarding their merger, as Siemens was reluctant to fund factories and development of an 8 MW turbine in France.
AREVA is a global leader in the production and operation of biomass power plants, with over 38 years of experience in bioenergy and more than 95 plants built worldwide, representing 2.5 GWe of installed capacity.
Areva Renewables Brazil, a subsidiary of Areva, builds biomass power plants based on bagasse (organic waste from sugar cane). In the United States, Areva formed a partnership with Duke Energy in September 2008, named ADAGE, to build and operate 55MW biomass power plants based on clean wood waste collected during sustainable forestry operations. The first biomass power plant was progressing through permitting in Mason County, Washington, but was terminated in 2011.
In 2012, Areva acquired a bio-coal production technology called Thermya, which produces a biofuel issued from biomass torrefaction that can replace coal to generate thermal energy and electricity.
AREVA is developing AdCub, a modular concept for compact power plants targeting small-scale biomass resources that addresses relatively untapped growth opportunities in Europe. The objective is to combine innovative solutions which optimize customer costs for small-scale power plants (between 3 and 6 MW) and reduce construction time. This new biomass plant concept also aims to improve upstream technologies for multi-fuel acceptance and higher availability.
AREVA designs, manufactures and industrializes turnkey energy storage solutions and products to generate electricity with fuel cells and produce hydrogen by electrolysis. AREVA supports ongoing research in the hydrogen field through partnerships with a number of industrial companies and national research organizations including: Agence Nationale de la Recherche (French National Research Agency), the Horizon Hydrogen Energy (H2E) program, PAN-H (Plan d’Action National sur l’Hydrogène et les piles à combustible) and Pôle Capenergies, an innovation cluster dedicated to the development of renewable forms of energy without greenhouse gas emissions.
In 2012, Areva inaugurated a hydrogen storage system called the MYRTE platform near Ajaccio, Corsica (MYRTE is the French acronym for Mission Hydrogène Renouvelable pour l’intégration au réseau électrique). The system aims to establish the feasibility of a storage solution for solar energy using hydrogen technologies, which would serve as a back-up system to stabilize Corsica’s power grid. In 2014, AREVA’s energy storage and management system, the Greenergy Box, was added to the existing installation, in operation since early 2013. This management system increases grid output from the energy stored in hydrogen to 150 kW.
In May 2014, AREVA SMART ENERGIES, through its subsidiary CETH2, and the ADEME (French Environment and Energy Management Agency), announced the creation of the AREVA H2-Gen joint venture. The joint venture aims to manufacture Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) electrolysers, a technology that enables the production of hydrogen from water and electricity.
One of Areva's subsidiaries, Euriware (founded in 1991) specializes in consulting and IT services and employs 2,200 people. AREVA also owns 1.99 percent of Safran and 1.4 percent of Suez Environnement.
CERCA, a subsidiary of Areva that produces fuel for research reactors, is also involved in TRIGA, a research reactor established in 1996 with the US firm General Atomics that is used for training, research, and the production of radioisotopes.
Areva NC (Nuclear Cycle), formerly Cogema, is active in all stages of the nuclear fuel cycle.
Areva NP (Nuclear Power), formerly Framatome, specializes in the design and construction of nuclear power plants, fuel supply, and maintenance.
Areva TA, formerly Technicatome, specializes in nuclear propulsion reactors and nuclear research facilities.
Euriware provides consulting and IT services in the energy and industry sectors.
Areva Med focuses on the development of therapies to fight cancer.
Areva Mines is active in mining activities, including exploration, extraction, and processing of uranium ore.
Areva's main shareholder is the French public-sector company, the CEA (Commissariat à l'énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives), which owns 68.88 percent. Areva is incorporated under French law as a société anonyme (SA: public corporation) and is also recognized as a public limited company in the United Kingdom and a corporation in United States jurisdictions. The French State (including the shares owned by the CEA) controls 87 percent.
In June 2011, the French government named Luc Oursel, formerly chief of marketing, as Chief Executive Officer and President of Areva, replacing Anne Lauvergeon, who served 10 years in the position. Upon his death in 2014, the board named Phillippe Knoche, company COO, as acting CEO while they conduct a search for a permanent replacement. The CEO's actions are subject to considerable oversight by the supervisory board.
Spencer Abraham, the former U.S. Secretary of Energy, was a non-executive chairman of Areva Inc. from 2006 to 2012. Mike Rencheck has been the CEO of Areva Inc in North America since March 2012.
The Executive Board
As of December 2014, the members of the Executive Board are:
- Philippe Varin - Chairman of the Executive Board
- Philippe Knoche - President and Chief Executive Officer (acting), Chief Operating Officer
- Pierre Aubouin - Chief Financial Executive Officer
- Olivier Wantz - Senior Executive Vice President, Mining Business Group
This section needs to be updated.(October 2017)
Areva realized €9.104 billion in sales revenue in 2010 and €-423 million in operating income.[when?] Areva had €3.672 billion of net debt[clarification needed] at the end of 2010. In June 2010, Standard & Poor's downgraded Areva’s debt rating to BBB+, due to weakened profitability following a further € 400 million provision for the Olkiluoto-3 over-running European Pressurized Reactor build. In July 2010, the French government authorised a 15 percent capital increase at Areva, in which Électricité de France (EDF) could raise its stake from 2.4 to 7 percent.
Areva’s operating income dropped by -2.6 percent in 2011. The stock exchange of the share was interrupted on Monday 12 December 2011. On 12 December 2011 Areva gave a warning of €1.6 billion losses and 2.4 billion € write down in 2011 and informed of a saving program. In addition to Fukushima accident, the Olkiluoto Nuclear Power Plant was expected to bring losses for the company.
Areva realized €9.342 billion in revenue in 2012 and €118 million in operating income. On 1 March 2012 Areva announced a business-deficit of €2.4 billion (US$3.2 billion). 1,500 employees in Germany were to be laid off, after the German decision to phase out nuclear power by 2022.
Areva reported consolidated revenue of 9.240 billion euros in 2013, an increase of 4.0 percent on a reported basis and of 6.4 percent like for like compared with 2012.
The consolidated backlog stood at 41.5 billion euros at December 31, 2013, down from 44.6 billion euros a year earlier.
Nuclear sales declined for Areva after the 2011 Japanese Fukushima disaster, and this was also the case for rival nuclear companies such as General Electric and Westinghouse Electric. Areva had a 4.8 billion euros loss in 2014 on sales of 8.3 billion euros.
Nuclear reactor designs
Areva started construction of the first European Pressurized Reactor (EPR) in Olkiluoto in 2005. The reactor, which is one of the first of the new Generation III reactors, was initially expected to begin producing electricity in 2009, but the project has faced delays.
In 2003 Finland’s Olkiluoto contract was issued on a turnkey basis and in 2004 a contracted fixed price was established as €3200M. Over the years delays have accumulated and costs started to overrun substantially.
In its 2006 Annual Report, Areva recorded a write-down of €507M associated with the delay. As of 2014[update] the project is at least seven years behind schedule with a total cost estimate of €8.5 billion ($11.4 billion). According to the customer's estimate, the Olkiluoto plant will be finished by 2016. Owner TVO had originally contracted to start selling nuclear power at the end of April 2009.
A second EPR is currently under construction at the Flamanville Nuclear Power Plant in France. As of 2014, this plant is behind schedule and over-budget. The reactor is set to generate its first power in 2017.
In November 2007, Areva agreed to a €8 billion deal with the China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group to supply them with two EPRs in Taishan, Guangdong, China. Under the terms of the agreement, Areva will also help operate the plant, including the reprocessing of spent fuel. The nuclear reactor in Taishan is projected to cost less and be built more quickly following lessons learned in Finland.
The Atmea I is a new evolutionary Generation III reactor design targeted towards both developed and developing economies. It is a joint venture between Areva and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. The design is for a PWR with a power output of about 1,100 MWe. Plans called for the design to be ready for licensing applications by the end of 2009. The first is expected to be built in Turkey with construction set to begin by 2017 or after, and completed by 2023 or after.
In 2009 Areva announced that its 1,250 MWe Generation III+ boiling water reactor (BWR) design, provisionally known as SWR-1000, will henceforth be called Kerena. The Kerena design was developed from that of the Gundremmingen Nuclear Power Plant by Areva, with extensive German input and using operating experience from Generation II BWRs to simplify systems engineering.
Worldwide, the Areva group has an industrial presence in 43 countries and its commercial network reaches more than 100 countries. As of 2013, it employed approximately 45,340 people. In 2006, Fortune Magazine reported that Areva was the "Most Admired Global Energy Company."
In 2007, AREVA purchased UraMin, which later became Areva Resources Southern Africa.
Areva in Europe
Areva in the UK provides services for nuclear reactor design and construction, as well as related services. The Business Group also offers renewable technologies, including offshore wind and bioenergy.
- Sellafield: In 2008, Areva was awarded an operations contract to clean up the Sellafield nuclear reprocessing site as part of the Nuclear Management Partners consortium, made up of URS, Amec and Areva. Sellafield, located in Cumbria, England, is western Europe’s largest and most complex nuclear waste site.
- Hinkley Point C: In October, 2013, Areva won a $2.7 billion contract to supply two EPR nuclear reactors and control systems to the Hinkley Point C plant in Somerset, England. Areva has a 10% stake in the project, and will supply the nuclear steam supply system, the instrumentation and control system, and the fuel. Other partners on the project include France’s Électricité de France (EDF), the China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN), and the China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC).
The Hinkley plant will be the first nuclear power plant built in Britain since the Sizewell B in Suffolk, which started electricity production in 1995.
The Hinkley Point C plant is projected to cut CO2 emissions in the UK by 9 million tons a year and create 25,000 construction jobs and 900 operations jobs.
Areva in Africa
Areva operates two mines through SOMAÏR and COMINAK situated in Arlit, in northern Niger, and is also developing the Imouraren project situated 80 km from Arlit. These mines and projects employ more than 7,000 people. Niger is the world's fourth largest uranium producer.
Up until 2007, Areva was the only industrial company able to extract uranium in the country, but under a policy shift by then President Mamadou Tandja, the field was opened to competition and Sino-U, a Chinese nuclear energy company was granted uranium concessions. On 25 July 2007, the CEO of Areva-Niger, Dominique Pin, was expelled from Niger (although he was in Paris at the time) on charges of supporting the Tuareg Rebellion. The Financial Times described the entry of Sino-U in 2007 as a "battle for resources" between China and France and illustrated a competition view held by some that saw "China’s pursuit of Africa’s resources as a direct – and potentially destabilizing – threat to western interests". The country manager for AREVA disagreed with this view, stating in the same article that there were many uranium blocks, sufficient to keep both companies busy.
The population of Niger was exposed to a serious famine in 2005. AREVA donated €130,500 from January to June 2005 to the food crisis coordination group of Niger, and €120,000 in July in the form of two planes loaded with food and organized by Bernard Kouchner's Réunir NGO.
In November 2009, Greenpeace released a report indicating that two villages near AREVA's mining operations in Niger had dangerously high levels of radiation. To restore the information about AREVA’s mining activities in Niger, AREVA published a report answering in complete transparency to all the accusations made by the NGO.
In May 2013, the firm’s SOMAÏR uranium mine was damaged and one civilian was killed in an Al-Qaeda-linked suicide bomb attack, targeting the firm on the grounds that it was a French-owned company. The mine reached full production again in August 2013.
Areva is present in Namibia through its subsidiary AREVA Resources Namibia. The Group's uranium mining project in Namibia at Trekkopje was put on hold in 2012 due to a decrease in uranium prices following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.
Areva is currently running a care and maintenance program at the site so that it can be reopened in the future. The program is run at a cost of $10 million per year.
At the end of 2013, Areva directly employed about 50 people in Namibia, as well as about 50 suppliers and contractors in the country.
In June 2014, AREVA announced plans to sign a 10-year deal with state-run utility Namibia Water Corp to maintain water supplies essential to uranium mines in the country.
Areva has had a presence in Gabon since the 1950s, although there is currently no uranium mining in the country.
Today, Areva operates in the country under the subsidiary Areva Gabon, established in 2008. Areva Gabon is focused on exploring new mining possibilities at sites around the country. Gabon has received mineral exploration permits in four areas: Mopia, Andjogo, Lekabi, and N’Goutou.
In 2010, Areva launched the Mounana Health Observatory to treat former workers who became ill after working in the COMUF mine, which was shut down in 1999.
On 13 August 2007, the French newspaper Le Parisien alleged that the Franco-Libyan civil nuclear power agreement signed by President Nicolas Sarkozy did not concern desalinization of sea water, as claimed by the French government, but instead focused in particular on selling the EPR to Libya, a contract potentially worth $3 billion. Le Parisien cited Philippe Delaune, deputy to the deputy director of international affairs for the CEA atomic agency, which is the main share-holder in Areva. Following allegations that the deal had been related to the release of the Bulgarian nurses, the French Socialist Party, through the spokesperson Jean-Louis Bianco, declared that this deal was "geopolitically irresponsible". The German government also denounced the agreement.
Areva in North America
Areva Resources Canada Inc, created in 1993, is a uranium mining, milling, and exploration company based in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Areva Resources Canada has offices and operations in Saskatoon, La Ronge, McClean Lake, Cluff Lake, and in Baker Lake, Nunavut.
- McClean Lake: Located over 700 kilometres northeast of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, open pit mining began in 1995 and was suspended with the completion of the Sue ore bodies in 2008. The JEB mill at McClean Lake was recently expanded and upgraded to process ore from other projects, including Cigar Lake. Processing began at the mine in March 2014. The McClean Lake operation meets ISO 14001 standards for environmental management, as well as OHSAS 18001 for occupational health and safety management.
- Cluff Lake: In 2002, the Cluff Lake mine reached the end of its uranium production. The Cluff Lake mine produced 62 million pounds of yellowcake over a 22-year period. Since mining ceased, Areva Resources has implemented a decommissioning program to rehabilitate the site. Most of the decommissioning was completed in 2006 after two years of work to fill the open pits, demolish the mill, cover the tailings management area, and reslope and cover waste rock piles. Over 800,000 trees have been planted in this effort. The Cluff Lake operation meets ISO 14001 standards for environmental management.
Areva operates as Areva Inc. in the USA, and is present in more than 35 locations across 20 states, employing nearly 5,000 people. Areva Inc. supplies network products to two-thirds of all US utilities. Areva Inc.'s headquarters are located in Charlotte, North Carolina.
In February 2002, the U.S. Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham announced the Nuclear Power 2010 Program, which included plans for two EPRs. This private/public partnership aimed to develop advanced reactor technologies and deploy new nuclear power plants by 2010, when the program was completed. On 15 September 2005, Areva and Constellation Energy of Baltimore announced a joint venture called UniStar Nuclear to market the commercial EPR in the US. The joint venture later became UniStar Nuclear Energy in 2007. In 2010, EDF acquired 100 percent of UniStar Nuclear Energy. However these plans failed to come to fruition, and in February 2015 Areva suspended the EPR Design Certification Application Review process at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).
Eagle Rock Enrichment Facility
Areva Inc., based in Charlotte, announced on May 6, 2008 that it would seek all necessary approval to build a uranium enrichment facility in Bonneville County, Idaho, about twenty miles west of Idaho Falls and near the Idaho National Laboratory, with the proposed name of Eagle Rock Enrichment Facility (EREF). Areva had officially announced plans for a US enrichment facility already since 2007. The Eagle Rock plant was expected to provide uranium enrichment services to US nuclear plant operators using advanced proven centrifuge technology developed by the Enrichment Technology Company Ltd (ETC), an Areva/Urenco joint venture. In 2010, EDF acquired 100 percent of UniStar Nuclear Energy.
In December 2011, as part of an Areva investment freeze, the company announced a potential delay in construction until a capital solution was secured for the Eagle Rock Enrichment Facility. It is now budgeted at $3 billion, has a US Nuclear Regulatory Commission license and a $2 billion loan guarantee from the Energy Department. In May 2013, Areva announced that it no longer projects a date for building the Eagle Rock plant because of uncertainties regarding its financing.
Areva in Asia
In 2007, Areva signed a ten-year deal with the South Korean public company KHNP to enrich uranium at its Georges Besse II enrichment plant, which was inaugurated in 2010. The deal is worth over €1 billion.
In November 2013, Areva and South Korea electric utility KEPCO signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate in the renewable energy sector, with a particular focus on biomass in Southeast Asia.
In China, Areva won an €8 billion ($11.9 billion) agreement in 2007 to build nuclear reactors.
The contract also called on Areva to provide uranium to fuel the reactors through 2026. The EPR reactors are expected to begin commercial operation in 2015 in the city of Taishan in Guangdong province, an export manufacturing powerhouse with heavy demand for power and high levels of industrial pollution.
Some intellectual property rights are retained by Areva, which limits CPR-1000 export potential for China. Areva is reported to be considering whether it should market the cheaper, less sophisticated, CPR-1000 alongside the EPR, for countries that are new to nuclear power.
On 18 December 2008 Areva signed an agreement with the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) for the supply of 300 tonnes of uranium to India for power generation, thus becoming the first-ever foreign supplier of Uranium to the country after the NSG waiver.
On 4 February 2009, Areva signed an MOU to supply two to six nuclear reactors to the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited, for the Jaitapur Nuclear Power Project in the Indian state of Maharashtra. The deal is thought to be worth around 8 billion Euro ($10.4 billion).
In June 2008, Areva reached an agreement with Kazatomprom. The collaboration lead to the creation of a joint-venture Katco which provides 4000 uranium's tones per year. Due to that contract Kazakhstan became one of the three most important partnerships for the group.
In January 2007, Areva was fined €53 million by the European Commission for rigging EU electricity markets through a cartel involving 11 companies, including ABB, Alstom, Fuji, Hitachi Japan, AE Power Systems, Mitsubishi Electric Corp, Schneider Electric, Siemens, Toshiba and VA Tech ELIN. According to the Commission, "between 1988 and 2004, the companies rigged bids for procurement contracts, fixed prices, allocated projects to each other, shared markets and exchanged commercially important and confidential information." Siemens was given a fine of €396 million, more than half of the total, for its alleged leadership role in the cartel.
Areva is not accused of any cartel involvement other than through the acquisition of an Alstom unit in January 2004. "This subsidiary was acquired by the Areva group towards the end of the infringement, in January 2004. The parent entities of the Areva group share a joint liability with that subsidiary for the period after its acquisition." "A few months before the cartel ended, Alstom sold the unit involved to Areva, which knew nothing of the cartel. It [Areva] and Alstom have joint liability for 53.6 million, which they must decide how to split."
On 24 June 2012, an armed group assaulted a uranium plant operated by Areva at Bakouma in the southeast of the Central African Republic. A statement by the military described that "a violent clash on Sunday afternoon pitted" Central African troops against "an unidentified group of armed men attempting to launch an assault on the site of mining company Areva".
According to the report the army successfully repelled the attack, but "the enemy did some material damage and pulled back while taking a sizeable quantity mainly of food with them." The Areva group issued no immediate statement regarding the attack. It is speculated[by whom?] that the attack was organized by members of the Chadian rebel Popular Front for Recovery (FPR) led by 'General' Baba Ladde, which is active in the region since 2008. The army says it's conducting further operations to neutralize the remaining armed rebels in the region of Bakouma.
In January 2014, Al Jazeera produced Orphans of the Sahara, three-part series on the Tuareg people of the Sahara desert, in which claims were brought to light that Areva mining and consequent radiations causing diseases and deaths among their people.
Al Jazeera also published Areva’s response, in which the company said it submits regular reports on its environmental monitoring of water, air and soil to the Nigerien Office of Environmental Assessments and Impact Studies (BEEEI) which indicate that there is no pollution around the sites in question.
Areva has sponsored several sporting events over the years.
- Track and Field: In 2009, Areva launched Athlenergy.com, an online resource for runners, and became the sponsor of the French Athletics Federation and the official sponsor of Meeting Areva, a track and field competition held annually at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, France. In May 2014, Athlenergy.com became Arevarun. Areva also sponsors several running events, including the Paris Half Marathon and Saintélyon, a night run from Sainte Etienne to Lyon, in France.
- FC Nürnberg: In 2008, Areva signed a contract to sponsor the German football club FC Nürnberg until 2012. The contract was completed in 2012.
- America’s Cup: Areva sponsored the French “Defi Areva” team in the 2002 America’s Cup race, and the French “Areva Challenge” team in the 2007 America’s Cup race. In 2002, during its first public appearance, in Lorient, France, the “Defi Areva” yacht collided with a dinghy carrying four Greenpeace protesters, and the impact knocked a hole in the side of the 80-foot boat.
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