The decommissioned French warship turned away as an environmental hazard by India three months ago, went home on Wednesday.
The former aircraft carrier Clemenceau, now renamed "Q790", was brought back into the harbor of Brest, the Breton port where it was built in 1955.
The 27,000-ton former carrier was destined for an Indian scrap yard but local authorities ruled in February the asbestos on board could pose serious health risks and blocked it from entering Indian territorial waters.
Chirac was forced to order the vessel to turn back from the Indian Ocean where
it had been awaiting a final decision on its fate, bringing the final bill for the operation to an estimated $15m.
Authorities in Brest have said the work might be done in France, although any decision would be likely to raise a storm of protest from environmental groups which say adequate facilities do not exist.