Kuwait signs up France for nuclear development
Kuwait and France sign agreement to develop nuclear power capacities.
France and Kuwait signed an agreement to develop joint nuclear energy projects in the Gulf country on Saturday, giving French players a foothold in the region months after they lost out to Korean competitors in their bid to haul the UAE onto the nuclear stage, writes the AFP newswire.
The agreement "to develop the peaceful use of nuclear energy" was signed in Paris by Kuwait's Prime Minister, Sheikh Nasser Mohammed al-Ahmad al-Sabah, and French government officials.
"This agreement will permit the development of cooperation between France and Kuwait in several areas of nuclear energy" including electricity generation, a French government statement said.
Al-Sabah discussed nuclear cooperation with French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Friday. The French president hopes the new accord will "result in industrial cooperation," according to the presidential website.
France hosted a gathering of 60 energy-hungry nations in Paris last month, with Sarkozy urging international bodies to finance a new era of global nuclear power.
France has the world's second largest nuclear sector and generates around three quarters of its own electricity through nuclear power, more than any other economy. It has also made the export of nuclear technology an economic priority.
French engineering giants Areva and EDF are promoting the European Pressurised Reactor (EPR), a third-generation reactor design that France considers the most advanced in the world.
The French firms recently lost out on a 20 billion dollar contract to supply four reactors to the United Arab Emirates after South Korean firm Kepco came in with a lower offer.