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Sarkozy denies plan to sell nuclear reactor to Libya

by Staff Writers
Wolfeboro, New Hampshire (AFP) Aug 13, 2007
French President Nicolas Sarkozy denied on Monday France planned to sell a latest generation nuclear reactor to Libya.

"It's false. It's false," Sarkozy said when asked by journalists about reports of a possible sale of a EPR (European Pressurized water Reactor) nuclear reactor to Libya.

Sarkozy, on vacation in the US state of New Hampshire, spoke after a report Monday in the French daily Le Parisien-Aujourd'hui en France said Libya hoped to secure from Paris the latest generation EPR nuclear reactor, the most powerful in the world.

Tripoli recently clinched a deal with France on civilian nuclear cooperation which clears the way for delivery of an atomic plant for water desalination.

But the newspaper cited an official with the Atomic Energy Commission, the principal shareholder in the French nuclear company Areva, who said the firm was contacted by Libya to deliver an EPR reactor.

When asked by AFP, a spokesperson for Areva would not confirm the newspaper report.

The cost of a new EPR reactor, which is designed to replace most of the reactors currently in France, is about three billion euros.

The agreement signed during a visit to Tripoli by Sarkozy would supply Libya with a nuclear reactor that would convert sea water into drinking water.

The French president's visit came a day after Libya freed six foreign medics nurses detained for more than eight years.

France played a key role, along with EU officials, in securing their release.

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Indian PM defends controversial US nuclear deal
New Delhi (AFP) Aug 13, 2007
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday defended a controversial civilian nuclear accord with the United States, saying it would not affect the nation's military programme or any plans to test atomic weapons.

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