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Le Creusot red
Old Le Creusot Forge, predecessor to Areva-Le Creusot.
NRC Inspection Le Creusot 2009
The US NRC inspected Areva due to quality concerns years ago.
Areva Le Creusot ASN
The French regulator, ASN, is investigating quality concerns at Areva-Le Creusot. In contrast, the US NRC is coddling Areva.

The EU has finally taken note of unfair direct subsidy to French State owned Areva and it is investigating. Areva and EDF’s very existence, as state owned entities which prance around the world pretending that they are private corporations and behaving as such, constitutes unfair business practices. The same is true of Russian state owned Rosatom (and related entities), China’s National Nuclear corporations (e.g. CNNC), Korea’s KEPCO and Japan’s TEPCO, etc. The nuclear industry can’t survive without constant injections of taxpayer money, but the most overt form is the state owned nuclear corporation. Furthermore, these nuclear corporations have the power of the state backing them up, which can field armies on their behalf. This is exemplified by France’s invasion of Africa, in part to defend Areva’s uranium mines, or so it appears. This is as if the US TVA competed on an international scale, rather than strictly within the US. Weirdly the UK sold most of its state owned nuclear busineses (URENCO is still 1/3rd owned by the British state) and so its nuclear reactors belong to French State owned EDF.

This is direct subsidies. However, the nuclear industry gets indirect subsidies because the governments allow them to largely avoid responsibility in the event of nuclear disasters. Furthermore, governments allow routine radioactive discharges throughout the entire nuclear fuel chain, including operating nuclear reactors, which shifts costs upon the public and environment. The environmental and health impacts of these radioactive discharges constitute unfair subsidies to the nuclear industry. Even the the IMF considers medical costs from pollution an unfair subsidy to the energy sector, which should be factored in, and they have pointed this out repeatedly: http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/survey/so/2015/NEW070215A.htm See: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2015/10/30/usnrc-value-of-death-update-all-tricks-no-value-of-life-no-medical-care-or-caregiver-costs/ https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2015/11/03/usnrc-value-of-life-and-evacuation-policies-discriminate-against-older-people-and-the-disabled-crimes-against-humanity-in-the-making-comment-deadline-tonight-3-november-11-59-pm-et-ny-dc/

Everywhere one turns, Areva appears to be found in relation to fiascos – not just Le Creusot Forge. Areva isn’t just eating up French tax monies but also US tax monies, Japanese tax monies and surely more. Areva is at the over-cost, late, MOX facility at the Savannah River Nuclear site: http://www.srswatch.org; At WIPP: http://www.nwp-wipp.com/partners.html At Hanford: http://www.hanford.gov/page.cfm/WRPS and was at Fukushima: “Board of Audit: Billions of yen wasted in Fukushima No. 1 cleanup“, by Mari Yamguchi, MAR 24, 2015 : “Among the costliest failures was a ¥32 billion machine made by French nuclear giant Areva SA to remove radioactive cesium from water leaking from the three wrecked reactors. / The trouble-plagued machine lasted just three months and treated only 77,000 tons of water, a tiny fraction of the volume leaking every day. It has since been replaced with Japanese and American machines.” Read the article here: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/03/24/national/board-of-audit-billions-of-yen-wasted-in-fukushima-no-1-cleanup/

There is also the on-going Uramin Scandal: “Areva, Uramin Affair: 3 billion euros up in smokehttp://youtu.be/cW02YZfLR8E Hear that giant sucking noise? That’s tax monies feeding Areva. Why’s it called pork barrel, rather than pig or swine or hog barrel? The French invasion of Britain, of course (i.e. the Norman Conquest.) There’s food for thought.
USDA big pink pig

What embarrassing F-ups! Choose the F word of your choice. Several appear to apply to Areva.

EU Press Release with some commentary in brackets:
State aid: Commission opens in-depth investigation into French state financing of Areva restructuring Brussels, 19 July 2016
IP/16/2587

European Commission – Press release

The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to determine whether the French state’s contribution to the financing of the Areva group’s restructuring gave the company an unfair advantage not available to its competitors within the meaning of the EU rules on state aid.” [YES! OF COURSE IT DOES – DUH. Much whining and complaining between EU members about agricultural and industrial policies through the years. Why is the nuclear industry exempt?]

Margrethe Vestager, Commissioner responsible for competition policy, said that: ‘Given the size and importance of the restructuring of Areva, the Commission has to carefully assess that the restructuring plan is sound and that the state aid does not unduly distort competition in the Single Market.” [Of course it distorts competition! Already Areva has almost no competitors internationally!] “Our aim is to ensure a sustainable future for Areva without the need for further government support.’” [Why would anyone want Areva to be sustained in any shape or form? Of course it will require further bailouts unless it changes name again or stops doing nuclear.]

The Areva group, controlled by the French state, is active throughout the nuclear sector. It has been experiencing financial difficulties for over five years“. [They are trying to blame Fukushima but the entities that now comprise Areva have had long-standing problems.] “In April 2016 France notified the Commission of a restructuring plan to restore the group’s competitiveness and improve its financial position. The plan includes state aid in the form of a public capital injection of four billion euros. It also involves a renewed focus on the nuclear fuel cycle through various divestments and withdrawal from certain activities.

State aid to assist undertakings in difficulty may be authorised under certain conditions when it contributes to an objective of common interest without unduly distorting competition. These criteria are defined in the EU Guidelines on State aid for rescuing and restructuring non-financial undertakings in difficulty. They are designed to ensure that aid is granted only to undertakings which have reasonable prospects of viability and take measures to limit the distortions of competition caused by the state aid. [Is 4 billion even enough? The nuclear industry isn’t viable and distorts the market. A fair market favors renewable energy.]

At this stage, the Commission intends to check whether the assumptions underlying the restructuring plan for restoring the undertaking’s long-term viability are sufficiently realistic to allow Areva to operate without constant injections of public funds.” [This shouldn’t take long because the assumptions will depend upon unrealistic expections of nuclear expansion, especially given Areva’s production of apparently faulty products.] “The Commission must also ensure that the group makes a sufficient, real contribution to the costs of its restructuring. Lastly, it must check that the measures proposed by France to limit distortions of competition are proportionate to the distortions created by the aid.

Opening this in-depth investigation will give interested third parties an opportunity to submit their comments and there are no foregone conclusions about its findings.

Background

Areva is a listed group, of which the French state owns, directly and indirectly, 86.5%. The group is active in the whole range of activities which make up the nuclear fuel cycle.

The Guidelines on State aid for rescuing and restructuring non-financial undertakings in difficulty require beneficiaries to work out a sound restructuring plan that allows them to achieve long-term viability on the basis of realistic assumptions, in order to ensure that they do not continue to seek public aid instead of competing in the market place on their own account. The plan must include measures to limit distortions of competition arising from the public aid. Furthermore, the beneficiary needs to make a significant contribution of its own to the costs of restructuring. Lastly, the undertaking may receive rescue and restructuring aid only once in any ten-year period.

By checking on compliance with these conditions, the Commission is working to maintain fair competition between different undertakings and technologies in the single market, for energy and in other sectors.

More information is available on the Commission’s Competition website in the public State Aid Register under the reference SA.44727.” Original and embedded links here: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-16-2587_en.htm Emphasis our own.

Many thanks to nuclear news net for sniffing this out: https://nuclear-news.net/2016/08/10/european-commission-investigating-french-governments-financing-of-areva-nuclear-comnpany/