Court bans Areva nuclear outsourcing move

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A court banned French nuclear company Areva on Tuesday from outsourcing some operations at a nuclear waste processing plant in northwest France, saying the plan posed a stress threat to workers.

The Paris court said in its ruling that the planned activity posed "major psychosocial risks and considerable technical and industrial risks and is liable to harm the health and safety of the workers concerned."

The firm wanted to install new heating and cooling operations at its La Hague plant near Cherbourg and to outsource their construction and running to another company, Dalkia.

The court ruled that the changes to the duties of workers at the site, involving potentially dangerous nuclear material and including an obligation for some to train Dalkia employees, constituted a stress and health threat.

It prohibited Areva from following through with the outsourcing and ordered it to pay 28,000 euros ($40,000) in costs to the labour unions that brought the court case.

© 2011 AFP

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