France supports Mitsubishi taking stake in Areva: Fillon

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France is open to a plan by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) of Japan to take a stake in French nuclear giant Areva, French Prime Minister Francois Fillon said Friday.

Fillon supports the idea of "cooperation between Areva and Mitsubishi... in particular on the new nuclear reactor Atmea," a joint venture between the companies to develop and market a new reactor, Fillon said.

"France is open to Mitsubishi taking shares in Areva," he said in a joint statement with Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan.

Fillon said France and Japan are the leading countries in the field of nuclear energy and can enhance bilateral cooperation in the sector.

MHI has reportedly launched negotiations with the French government on its plan to take a two-percent stake in Areva.

© 2010 AFP

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