France supports Mitsubishi taking stake in Areva: PM

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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, Prime Minister Francois Fillon said Friday.

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

"In particular, I say that France is open to Mitsubishi taking shares in Areva," he said in a statement with Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan.

Fillon said France and Japan were the leading countries in the field of nuclear energy and could enhance cooperation in the field.

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

© 2010 AFP

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