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Anne Lauvergeon, The World’s Foremost Advocate for Nuclear Power

Sock It To 'Em Ada

Anne Lauvergeon, otherwise known as “Atomic Anne,” is the head of Areva, the largest builder of nuclear reactors on the planet, and, according to Newsweek’s profile of her, “the world’s most effective proselytizer for nuclear energy.”

To understand how nuclear energy has morphed in the public consciousness from apocalyptic villain to “clean, green” renewable energy, look no further than Lauvergeon. Ask about safety and she launches into a passionate soliloquy on the “third generation” nuclear plants the company is building. “Bombs, missiles, commercial airplane crashes, terrorism,” she says. “Whatever happens, you will have no leak in the air or the ground.” She dismisses concerns about nuclear-waste disposal, saying Areva recycles most of it anyway, and that the technology exists to destroy it in a laboratory setting—a technology she predicts will jump to real life within 20 years.

Lauvergeon has become something of a controversial figure recently, after overseeing Areva through the $40 billion loss of a project in Abu Dhabi, and may be removed from her post if the company doesn’t make a turn around by June. For now, we’re just glad Newsweek did a profile on her. Otherwise we never would have known about this particular member of the small group of women who run international corporations.

(pic via Newsweek.)

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