REFILE-Urenco sale plan divides secretive nuclear fuel club

Wed Feb 6, 2013 11:31am EST
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* Urenco shareholders weigh price vs security

* Possible bidders include Westinghouse, Areva

* Sale to non-EU player could require new treaty

* London and Berlin open to sale, Dutch prefer status quo

By Geert De Clercq and Fredrik Dahl

PARIS/VIENNA, Feb 6 (Reuters) - The planned sale of Urenco poses a quandary for the three European governments that own it. They want a good price for the world's second-largest nuclear fuel vendor, yet are suspicious of every buyer's motives.

Germany, Britain and the Netherlands, which set up Urenco more than forty years ago, have a duty to ensure secret technology that could be used to make an atomic bomb does not fall into the wrong hands.

U.S.-Japanese reactor builder Westinghouse, French nuclear group Areva and a consortium led by a former industry insider have been reported to be eager to buy a stake in Urenco, estimated to be worth up to 10 billion euros ($13.53 billion).   Continued...