-  Thursday 01 October 2020

    France, Libya pen deal on civilian nuclear work

    Thu Mar 16, 2006
    PARIS/TRIPOLI (Reuters) - Libya signed a cooperation agreement with France on peaceful uses of nuclear energy on Wednesday and said the accord would help it generate atomic power to desalinate sea water for the desert country.

    The memorandum of understanding was signed in Tripoli late on Wednesday by a team from the French atomic energy commission and the Libyan National Bureau for Research and Development.

    Libya said the cooperation would focus on developing radioactive products for industrial and medical uses. It also hopes to generate nuclear power for desalination plants to convert salt water into drinking water.

    "We are securing the future for our inhabitants," said Libyan Labour, Training and Employment Minister Maatoug Mohammed Maatoug. "We have a shortage of drinkable water."

    He said the cooperation would pave the way for French companies in Libya, help develop Libyan capabilities and boost joint research.

    Libya cast off more than a decade of international ostracism in 2003 when it accepted responsibility and began paying compensation for the bombing of airliners over Scotland and Niger in 1988 and 1989.

    It promised to dismantle its nuclear, chemical and biological programmes and signed additional protocols with the U.N.'s International Atomic Energy Agency.

    The country's leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi said at the time he still hoped to develop a nuclear programme for peaceful means.

    "This agreement comes after Libya decided to abandon weapons of mass destruction and became an example for other countries," said Alain Bugat, director of the French nuclear agency. "It will concentrate on civil uses."


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