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Areva Confident Stress Tests Won’t Curb Europe’s Nuclear Future

Areva SA, the world’s largest provider of nuclear equipment and services, is “not at all concerned” about the outcome of stress tests on Europe’s atomic power stations, Chief Commercial Officer Ruben Lazo said.

The Fukushima atomic disaster in Japan won’t stop construction of new reactors in Europe, Lazo said in an interview yesterday after a ceremony in Prague where Areva and rival bidders Westinghouse Electric LLC and a Russian-Czech group led by ZAO Atomstroyexport got technical specifications for two planned reactors at CEZ’s Temelin station.

The March tsunami and partial meltdown of the Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant triggered safety probes across Europe and prompted nations such as Germany, Italy and Switzerland to opt out of nuclear power altogether. The U.K., the Czech Republic and Poland are pressing ahead with plans for more reactors.

“We are all waiting for the stress tests, but we are completely calm,” Lazo said. “Fukushima has not stopped many countries from going as planned.”

While the Temelin tender is “very strategically important” for Areva, the French company is also focusing its resources in China and India, where it’s building two and six EPR reactors respectively, and bidding for more, Lazo said.

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