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  1. it hosts the North American headquarters of Areva, one of the world’s largest nuclear companies

    Sadly, that’s no longer true. They moved the headquarters to Charlotte.

    The CEO still lives in Lynchburg, however.

  2. Was the move a cost cutting tactic? I see Areva claimed a 5.6 billion dollar loss for 2014., and was threatening huge layoffs early this year. Seeing as how, I understand, the company is 85% owned by the french government, is the government pouring money in to keep Areva alive?

    1. Yes and no.

      The headquarters used to be in Virginia. Then new top-level management came in and the headquarters were moved to Bethesda, MD — I assume so as to be closer to the regulatory system, particularly the NRC, which is located in nearby Rockville, MD.

      Office space in the DC area is quite expensive, so sometime within the last couple of years, the decision was made to relocate. So in that sense, it could be considered a cost-cutting tactic.

      The three locations that were considered were Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina. (Naturally, the state governments were allowed to compete in terms of offering support and incentives to encourage the relocation to their tax base.) In the end, Charlotte won out. Areva has had a sizable office in Charlotte for the past decade and a half (which was acquired from Duke Power). Now this office is also the North American headquarters.

      Areva is currently in the process of being split into two companies. Electricité de France (EDF) is buying roughly half of the company. They are looking for outside investors to share in ownership.