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Rehabilitation of mining sites in the Limousin region COGEMA acquitted by the Court of Limoges

Press release

June 28, 2006

On June 28, the Court of Appeal of Limoges confirmed the ruling made by the Criminal Court on October 14, 2005, which had acquitted AREVA of the accusations made by certain associations that had taken it to court over its former mining activities in the Limousin region*.

Following a very thorough examination of the case, the Court of Appeal, in turn, ruled as groundless the complaint lodged by the association Sources et Rivières du Limousin and the national federation France Nature Environnement which accused AREVA NC of abandoning waste and causing harm to water fauna. The Court had previously thrown out the accusation regarding endangering the life of others.

Contrary to the accusations made against it and in the words of the Court of Appeal, AREVA has not abandoned waste, infringed regulations or caused harm to water fauna.

This decision confirms AREVA's full compliance with the regulations protecting the health of local populations and the environment.

AREVA NC employs over 100 specialists in the Limousin region dedicated to the long-term monitoring of rehabilitated mining sites and to maintaining them under the best environmental conditions**. For over ten years the company has been carrying out continuous improvement actions in partnership with scientists and local bodies, under the watchful eye of the government.

*The stages in the legal process

The association "Sources et Rivières du Limousin" and the national federation "France Nature visu_cogema_envi_Niger_full.jpg" lodged a complaint against AREVA NC (at the time, COGEMA) accusing it of polluting various lakes and waterways in the Haute Vienne department and of endangering the life of others.
After pre-trial investigation of the case and AREVA NC's indictment in August 2002, the Public Prosecutor of Limoges called for the case be dismissed, appealing against the magistrate's order for a transfer of proceedings.

On March 25, 2004, the Investigation Division of the Court of Appeal of Limoges ruled in favor of the magistrate but threw out the charge of endangering the life of others.

The appeal lodged by AREVA NC on March 29 was rejected on November 3, 2004; the Criminal Court of Limoges then met on June 24, 2005.

  • On October 14, 2005, AREVA NC was fully acquitted by the Criminal Court of Limoges.
  • The complainants appealed this decision in the civil courts claiming damages.
  • The hearing of the Court of Appeal of Limoges was held on May 24, 2006.
  • The ruling was adjourned until June 28, 2006.

**Facts on rehabilitation
10 years of work, 50 million euros in investment, 107 water sample points, 2000 air analyses and over 200 soil and food chain samples. .

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