Areva has signed a preliminary agreement with China National Nuclear Corp. (CNNC) for a possible partnership that could see the Chinese group take a minority stake in the French firm.
The partnership will cover “uranium mining, front end, recycling, logistics, decommissioning and dismantling”, Areva said in a statement Monday, Reuters reported.
The deal excludes the reactor business that French power group EDF is buying from Areva, according to the report.
“This project offers numerous opportunities for both Areva and CNNC,” the French group’s chairman Philippe Varin said in the statement following a ceremony in Beijing.
“Strengthening the cooperation with our Chinese partners is an integral factor for Areva’s future success,” said the statement, issued during a visit to China by French President Francois Hollande.
The French government wants utility EDF and nuclear group Areva, both state-owned, to keep a combined 66 percent stake in Areva’s former reactor building arm Areva NP, a government source told Reuters last month.
With respective stakes of 51 percent for EDF and 15 percent for Areva, this would open the door for outside investors to buy into Areva NP.
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