Areva drops 9% on market amid Japan nuclear fears

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French nuclear group Areva dropped 9.5 percent Monday as European stock markets reacted to growing fears over nuclear power owing to problems with reactors in quake-hit Japan.

Shortly after trading began Areva's non-voting shares were down 9.5 percent as the market overall shed 0.5 percent.

The public group is at the heart of a running debate in France over nuclear power's role in a world seeking greener, sustainable energy, with the West seeking to lessen its reliance on Middle Eastern and Russian oil and natural gas.

However the unfolding nuclear disaster in Japan where reactors have been damaged by the massive earthquake and tsunami are reviving the anti-nuclear lobby.

Areva is a major player in the world nuclear energy field, with its activities covering the whole process from the extraction of uranium to the disposal of nuclear waste.

© 2011 AFP

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