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[cdn-nucl-l] AREVA sponsors French racing yacht
Posted in the Australian Herald Sun on February 5, 2002 and at:
Didn't the ANS sponsor a race car some years back? Yachts sure aren't
cheap though... Wow. We'd be more in the 'bathtub' class :)
Sailors defend nuclear sponsorship
A FRENCH yachting team gearing up to compete in next year's America's
Cup has shrugged off controversy over its choice of French nuclear group
Areva as its sponsor.
Environmental and anti-nuclear groups in France have promised to wage a
long campaign against Areva's involvement.
Reports have suggested militants might even try to sabotage the team's
boat, the Defi Areva.
And there are predictions of more protests when the crew reaches New
Zealand - where anger is still felt over French nuclear testing at
Mururoa Atoll in the South Pacific and the 1985 French secret service
bombing of the Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior.
However, Xavier de Lesquen, the executive director of the team, today
insisted he was not worried.
"There are some people who are a bit hot-headed," he said.
"But you shouldn't be misled by all that."
He said, once informed, the public would make a distinction between
France's civilian nuclear power industry, which fell under the newly
formed Areva umbrella, and the French government's military nuclear
In any case, de Lesquen said, "the teams are free to choose their
sponsors as they see fit".
Sortir du Nucleaire, one of the French groups opposed to Areva's 15
million euro ($25.51 million) sponsorship, said it was determined to see
the French company withdraw.
Areva's January 11 sponsorship deal provoked an immediate reaction by
the environmental group.
A spokesman, Alain Rivat, said its campaign would be "symbolic and
non-violent", relying mainly on showing that Areva "trails a nuclear
trashcan behind it".
Areva, whose slogan is "Living Better Through Advanced Technology", was
created in September last year from a merger of nuclear fuel and power
plants in France, where 80 per cent of the energy is derived from