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Nuclear Power Corporatio, Areva to soon resume talks on Jaitapur project

The state run Nuclear Power Corporation (NPC) and French nuclear reactor supplier Areva will soon resume talks for Jaitapur nuclear project in Maharashtra. The talks, which were frozen during the Lok Sabha elections, will begin in near future mainly after the Modi-led government’s commitment for the development of the 9,900 MW  project under the inter governmental agreement between India and France. This was revealed by French Ambassador to India Francois Richier while speaking to Business Standard at the sidelines of the visit of the French business delegation here today.

Areva, which has entered into an early works contract with NPC in December 2010, has yet to enter into commercial contract. Areva will initially supply two evolutionary pressurised reactors (EPRs) each of 1,650 MW for the Jaitapur project and later four EPRs of the same generation capacity each. Richier informed that after the Fukushima accident took place in March 2011, through investigations concerning safety of French reactors and also of EPRs were conducted. Thereafter, the issues relating to the security of EPRs were settled. But during elections negotiations came to a halt.

However, Richier said the French government wanted clarity from the Modi government on the issues involving the price of power, provisions of India’s civil nuclear liability law and the procurement of certain key equipments by Areva from Japan required for the Jaitapur project.

”During French foreign minister Laurent Fabius’s meetings last week with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, finance minister Arun Jaitley and environment and forests minister Prakash Jawadekar the Jaitapur project came up for discussion. French government has no objection with the India’s civil nuclear liability law but certainly it wanted a clear picture on its provisions. France and Areva will abide by the law” As far as the procurement of some equipments by Areva from Japan, Richier said it was brought to the notice of the government that there is a need for a civil nuclear agreement between India and Japan.

On the per unit tariff of Rs 6.50 projected by the Department of Atomic Energy for Jaitapur project, Richier said it was a matter negotiated by Areva with Nuclear Power Corporation.

On Shiv Sena’s opposition to Jaitapur project, Richier said he did not want to comment.

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