The headquarters of the French state-owned company that designed Britain’s new nuclear reactors was raided by police yesterday. About 50 officers searched the offices of Areva, the nuclear engineering group, as part of a preliminary inquiry into corruption allegations. The inquiry was launched by the French national financial prosecution service into Areva’s purchase in 2011 of uranium from Niger worth $319.8 million. The uranium was sold later to Russian traders who made an $82 million profit and then to a Lebanese company that made $17.6 million, according to French media reports. A spokesman for Areva said that the deals had been lawful and were part of negotiations with an unspecified customer to build a nuclear reactor. In the end the reactor was never built. A spokesman for Niger’s government told Le Monde that it had made about $800,000 from the transactions and had used the money to buy cars for presidential bodyguards. Areva, which designed the two reactors being built at Hinkley Point by EDF, the state-owned French energy provider, is already under investigation in connection with Niger. An inquiry was opened in 2014 into allegations that it overpaid Uramin, a Canadian mining group, whose main uranium mines were in Niger.
Times 29th Nov 2017 read more »
FT 28th Nov 2017 read more »