France sees remote possibility of next N test by India

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New Delhi, Sep 12 (UNI) France does not see any problem developing in its civil nuclear cooperation with India in the near future as it believes in the latter's commitment for unilateral moratorium on nuclear tests.

French diplomatic circles here felt that India was unlikely to go in for another nuclear explosion in the near future execpt under '' very special circumstances.'' And if there is testing, there would, of course, be consequences, they said. The declaration made by External Affairs Minister Pranab Kumar Mukherjee just a day before the NSG waiver for India which has a very reassuring effect and would go a long way in enhancing India's civil nuclear cooperation with France and other countries, they felt.

Meahwhile, French Ambassador to India Jerome Bonnafont told a news conference here today France would maintain its nuclear cooperation with India, in the case any difficulties developed in the cooperation with the US.

Relying to a question in this regard, Mr Bonnafont said India's relations with the US do not concern France.

He said his country will continue its supply of nuclear fuel to India so long as it ensured its civilian use and did not let it proliferate.

The Ambassador also said his country could reprocess nuclear fuel for India if the latter wanted it to do so and would also offer next generation nuclear power reactors.

''If there is a request from India for reprocessing it in France, we would consider it,'' India has the right and the technology to reprocess nuclear fuel, so it was up to it to use it, he said, adding that fuel supply to India was part of the agreement with the IAEA.

The Ambassador also said France would offer the next generation of power recators called the European Pressuries Nuclear Reactors.

UNI NAZ SW AS1943

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