France's nuclear deals

When the Libyan leader visited France recently, Sarkozy took a beating in the press. His visit was a PR disaster says this French magazine editor. It was particularly embarrassing when Libyan leader said he wanted to save European women from oppression. But Sarkozy was willing to ignore the media storm because closer ties with Libya have led to a lucrative nuclear deal. Sarkozy is not stopping there. Sarkozy said France was ready to sell civilian nuclear power plants to any and all countries that want it. all told Sarkozy has or is negotiating tens of billions of dollars in deals across the globe, in North Africa and the Persian Gulf. The sales are designed to draw those countries to the West and isolate Iran, but analysts say there are risks. This retired US Navy Captain says he's worried about the threat from terrorists. He points out that governments in Morocco and Algeria suffer regular attacks by Islamic radicals and nuclear plants could become targets. But France's nuclear industry says it's prepared for such threats and is suggesting specific reactors which are able to resist air plane crashes. But even if modern plants can be protected from outside threats some people fear attacks from inside a host government. This analyst says Libya might use its nuclear program to conceal a weapons program one day. It appears the US is not against these moves and analysts generally agree that France is in close contact with the US about these sales.

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