Areva bags million-euro deals in Japan

French nuclear giant Areva said it had signed deals with three major power companies in Japan, ahead of a trip to Tokyo by French Prime Minister Francois Fillon. Both countries are major advocates of nuclear power.


French nuclear giant Areva announced Thursday deals worth two billion euros (3.2 billion dollars) with Japanese firms, tapping strong interest in atomic energy to power Asia's largest economy.

The deals are in uranium supplies, conversion and enrichment, chief executive Anne Lauvergeon told reporters during a visit here.

"It enables us, as a supplier and producer of uranium, to have a high commercial visibility faced with the investment we make in mines," she said.

She declined to name the Japanese firms involved in the deals, which are for periods of up to 15 years, citing their requests for privacy.

Areva's three main clients in Japan are Tokyo Electric Power Co., Kansai Electric Power and Chubu Electric Power.

The deals were announced shortly before French Prime Minister Francois Fillon began a visit to Japan aimed at boosting industrial ties.

Japan and France are major advocates of nuclear power, with Japan lacking virtually any natural energy sources.

Japan relies on nuclear power for about one-third of its energy needs despite visible public opposition out of safety concerns in the only nation to have been attacked with atomic bombs.

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