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French nuke firm Areva vows to support Japan in tackling crisis   Kyodo News

Anne Lauvergeon, chief executive officer of Areva, told Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Banri Kaieda that her company recognizes the Fukushima nuclear emergency as its own, according to a Japanese official. Their meeting was partially open to the media.

The CEO said at a press conference later in the day that Areva plans to soon send about 20 more experts to Japan, in addition to two who are currently assisting the Fukushima plant's operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. in dealing with the contingency. The Areva experts heading to Japan include those specializing in the disposal of radioactive water and spent nuclear fuel, Lauvergeon said. Areva is a manufacturer of uranium-plutonium mixed-oxide fuel, or MOX, which was used at the No. 3 reactor of the Daiichi power station.

Kaieda thanked Lauvergeon for Areva's donation of items such as radiation protective suits and masks and expressed hope that the French firm, which was involved in managing the 1979 Three Mile Island accident and the 1986 Chernobyl crisis, can support Tokyo to resolve ''the unprecedented'' disaster.

Areva has so far sent to Japan 10,000 radiation protective suits, 3,000 masks and 20,000 sets of gloves for nuclear workers, as well as two radiation monitoring vehicles, the Japanese official said.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Mar 31st, 2011 at 10:24:15 PM EST

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