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Flamanville construction site
Flamanville, France, Nuclear Reactor Construction site. See Areva name in upper right hand corner. EDF is also there; it operates the Flamanville nuclear site.

The Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) is Kuwait’s sovereign wealth fund, managing body, specializing in local and foreign investment. It is the 5th largest sovereign wealth fund in the world with assets exceeding $592 billion… KIA was founded on 23 February 1953 to manage the funds of the Kuwaiti Government in light of financial surpluses after the discovery of oil. KIA is the world’s first and oldest sovereign wealth fund.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kuwait_Investment_Authority French State owned nuclear group, Areva, has proved a really bad investment for them.

Reuters (13 June 2016) citing “La Lettre de l’Expansion” reported that the Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) wants to sell its stake in French State owned nuclear group Areva. Reportedly, KIA said that they invested in Areva “based on incorrect company accounts“.

According to Reuters, KIA paid 600 million euros ($676 million) for their 4.82% stake in 2010, but the value of Areva shares has declined by 90% due to years of losses by Areva. The French state (taxpayer) will bail-out Areva with 5 billion euros. The nuclear reactor part of Areva will be taken over by French State owned EDF in either late 2016 or early 2017.

As Reuters notes, former Areva chief executive Anne Lauvergeon is being formally investigated for her role in the Uramin scandal. She could be put on trial. See more here: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2016/05/15/french-state-owned-areva-the-uramin-scandal-and-canada-atomic-annie-before-investigating-judges/

In April of 2015, when Areva’s defective nuclear reactor pressure vessel at Flamanville came to light, we wondered if the KIA would sue over this? They are the largest owner of Areva after the French state. Did they know? Hiding this information for months appears securities fraud by Areva. KIA’s statement that they invested “based on incorrect company accounts” sounds like they think they were victims of fraud. The French taxpayers certainly appear to be victims of fraudulent practices by French State owned Areva-EDF.

A nuclear reactor pressure vessel with higher carbon steel in spots, as reported by Areva, especially in a pressurized reactor, means that it is likely to rupture, resulting in a catastrophic nuclear disaster. Having one or more spots made of higher carbon steel than the rest is more dangerous than having the whole thing made of higher carbon steel. Even the Bible warned of problems with mismatched quality of materials and subsequent tears or ruptures.

According to the ASN Press Release in April 2015, “Anomalies in the Fabrication of the EPR Pressure Vessel of Flamaville”: The ASN (French Nuclear Safety Authority) was informed by AREVA of anomalies in the composition of the steel in certain parts of the cover and of the bottom of the reactor pressure vessel of Flamanville.

Regulations relative to pressurized nuclear reactor installations require that the maker do quality control due to risks posed by any heterogenous materials used to make the parts which are the most important for safety.

To respond to this technical requirement, AREVA undertook chemical and mechanical tests on a reactor cover similar to that of the Flamanville EPR. The results of these tests demonstrated, end of 2014, the presence of a zone which had a large concentration of carbon and which led to mechanical resilience values which were weaker than expected.[1] The first tests confirmed the presence of this anomaly in the cover and the bottom of the pressure vessel of the Flamanville EPR. (Based on our translation of French original found here: https://web.archive.org/web/20150414022131/http://www.asn.fr/Informer/Actualites/EPR-de-Flamanville-anomalies-de-fabrication-de-la-cuve ) See more: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2015/04/07/dangerously-defective-nuclear-reactor-pressure-vessel-at-new-epr-flamanville-areva-wants-more-tests-to-prove-it-is-ok-its-not-ok-a-bas-areva/

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 in which the French government has a majority ownership, owns 2.24%; Kuwait Investment Authority owned 4.82% as the second largest shareholders after the French state.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Areva

The very existence of Areva and EDF as French State owned entities which prance around the world acting as international corporations, but which can depend on bail-outs by the French taxpayer, or even with state backed loans, constitutes unfair business practice. This is not a “natural monopoly”. Bailout of Areva would be illegal under Obama’s proposed US-Europe trade deal. Natural monopolies such as local utilities can be bailed out under the deal but not state owned entities acting as international corporations.

Areva appears to have had a breakdown in negotiations regarding problems at their Finnish nuclear reactor site. http://www.rtl.be/info/monde/economie/conflit-sur-l-epr-finlandais-les-negociations-tvo-areva-rompues-821604.aspx

See Reuters article here:
UPDATE 1-Kuwait fund wants to sell French nuclear group Areva stake -media Posted:Mon, 13 Jun 2016 09:58:52 -0400 PARIS, June 13 (Reuters) –
Sovereign wealth fund Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) has told French authorities it wants to sell its stake in nuclear group Areva, La Lettre de l’Expansion reported on Monday.
http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/utilitiesNews/~3/JYkr1MncYHc/areva-kuwait-idUSL8N1952ZR

Thank you Reuters!

“La Lettre de L’Expansion” is pay to view.