Oil Report

Timing of of India civil nuclear deal unclear-Areva head

PARIS, Jan 28 (Reuters) - The head of French nuclear firm Areva CEPFi.PA said in a newspaper interview that French civil nuclear cooperation with India hinged on an international deal whose finalisation was still unclear.

“Everything depends on authorising civil nuclear cooperation with India and on that issue the timing is political. We are waiting on the starting line, this unlocking could take place this smmer as it could take place in 2010,” CEO Anne Lauvergeon told French daily Les Echos.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy visited India last week to cement ties with that country, trying to boost civil nuclear cooperation and defence deals.

Sarkozy voiced support for India’s controversial nuclear deal with the United States. If finalised, the deal would allow civil nuclear technology exporters like France to participate in a billion-dollar business with India.

The deal aims to give India access to U.S. nuclear fuel and equipment for the first time in more than 30 years, even though India has tested nuclear weapons and refused to join non-proliferation agreements. (Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; editing by Rory Channing)