A memorandum of understanding has been signed by Libya and France that will see the two nations cooperating to use a nuclear reactor for the desalinisation of seawater.

A design for a medium-sized PWR that could be used for desalinisation has been produced by French technology company Areva but further development requires appropriate international agreements. French President Nicolas Sarkozy has suggested that the agreement still needed to be finalised “in the coming months or years” so that Areva could start construction of the facility.

The move follows the release of five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor following intervention by France.

A second nuclear project exploring for uranium in Libya has also been mooted.

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