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Nuclear giant Areva announces layoffs in Niger

Areva's headquarters in France AFP

French nuclear group Areva is to shed up to 200 jobs in Niger next year.

The company said on Monay that it would launch a redundancies programme at its Somaïr subsidiary in the uranium-rich west African country.

Union sources say nearly 200 of the 916 jobs at Somaïr are threatened, as well aas more than 500 workers in contractors.

The Areva press service in Niamey said the decision to lay off workers was due to difficult market conditions and the fall in the price of uranium which is now at 20 dollars a pound.