Areva top post not open yet: minister

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The question of who will next head French nuclear group Areva is not open, Industry Minister Eric Besson said Tuesday amid increasing speculation chief executive Anne Lauvergeon will remain in the job.

"There will be a meeting with the president when the issue comes up and it is the president who will decide. The question does not arise today," Besson said.

Besson said he had heard nothing about reports that Lauvergeon would continue in her job alongside a "compatible" deputy, adding: "We have a little time, the position comes up in June."

Lauvergeon, 51, has headed Areva for 11 years, and reportedly has had stormy exchanges with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Henri Proglio, the head of EDF, France's main electricity supplier and so Areva's top customer.

France relies on nuclear energy for nearly 80 percent of its electricity.

© 2011 AFP

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