France to setup Nuclear Power Reactors

Oct 18: France Minister, Ms. Chrysoula Zacharopoulou, currently on India visit, called on Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Ministry of Science & Technology, Minister of State (Independent Charge) Ministry of Earth Sciences, MoS PMO, DoPT, Administrative Reforms, Public Grievances, Pensions, Space and Atomic Energy, Dr Jitendra Singh at North Block, New Delhi to discuss Indo-French collaboration in Nuclear Energy. She was accompanied by a high-level French delegation.

The two sides discussed ways to speed up the setting up of the nuclear power reactors at Jaitapur site in Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra by joint collaboration. Emmanuel Lenain, Ambassador of France to India and other French officials including Thomas Mieusset, Nuclear Counsellor joined the deliberations.

Indian Government has already accorded ‘In-Principle’ approval for setting up six nuclear power reactors of 1650 MW each in technical cooperation with France which would make it the largest nuclear power generating site with a total capacity of 9900 MW as part of an umbrella nuclear deal signed with France in September 2008

The French company EDF last year submitted to Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) its binding techno-commercial offer to build six European Pressurised Reactors (EPRs) at Jaitapur. In May, this year, a high-level team from EDF visited India and held detailed talks with NPCIL officials.

Dr Jitendra Singh assured the France Minister that the technical, financial and civil nuclear liability issues will be resolved at the earliest by both the sides and well before the scheduled visit of the French president Mr Emmanuel Macron in early 2023 as announced by Ms Chrysoula Zacharopoulou. The France Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire is also scheduled to visit India by the middle of December.

Referring to warm and all-encompassing bilateral ties between the countries, Dr Jitendra Singh underlined that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was on a 3-day Europe visit, met President of France, Emmanuel Macron in Paris during the final leg of his tour in May this year. Both the leaders spoke on various subjects, including bilateral and global issue, and Mr Modi remarked that “India and France are proud developmental partners and this partnership is being spread across different sectors”.

In today’s meeting, both the sides reaffirmed the commitment to the success of the strategic Jaitapur EPR project for access to reliable, affordable and low-carbon energy and agreed to sort out the pending issues at the earliest.

NPCIL will be responsible for the construction and commissioning of the units, as well as obtaining all necessary permits and consents in India as the owner and future operator of the plant. This includes certification of the EPR technology by the Indian regulator.

Dr Jitendra Singh recalled that nuclear power is clean and environment friendly, apart from having a huge potential to ensure the country’s long term energy security on a sustainable basis. The nuclear power plants have so far generated about 755 billion Units of electricity saving about 650 million Tons of CO2 emission.

Dr Jitendra Singh said that the net zero targets are expected to be met through a combination of various clean energy sources including nuclear power. In this context, the present nuclear power capacity of 6780 MW is planned to be increased to 22480 MW by 2031 on progressive completion of projects under construction and accorded sanction.

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