A deal between France and India for the construction of six EPR nuclear power reactors at Jaitapur in India's Maharashtra state is now set to be finalized by the end of this year, the countries' leaders have said.
|Indian prime minister Modi and French president Hollande (Image: Indian Prime Minister's Office)
A joint statement from French president Francois Hollande and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi - issued today during a state visit by Hollande to India - said: "The two leaders encouraged their industrial companies to conclude techno-commercial negotiations by the end of 2016". They called for "due consideration to cost viability of the project, economical financing from the French side, collaboration on transfer of technology and cost-effective localization of manufacturing in India for large and critical components."
The two leaders, the statement said, have agreed on a roadmap of cooperation to speed up discussions on the Jaitapur project in 2016. "Their shared aim is to start the implementation of the project in early 2017," it added.
A memorandum of understanding (MOU) to cooperate on the construction of the Jaitapur plant, including lifetime fuel supply for the units, was signed by Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) and Areva in February 2009. This was followed by the signing of a general framework agreement between the two companies in December 2010, under which Areva is to supply nuclear islands and associated services for the first two EPRs planned for the Jaitapur site.
However, plans for the Jaitapur plant, as well as other proposed plants featuring imported reactor designs, were put on hold when India subsequently brought in an unusual liability regime.
Last April, Areva signed a pre-engineering agreement with NPCIL. This agreement prepares for the licensing of the EPR reactor design in India enabling it to be deployed at Jaitapur. At the same time, Areva signed an MOU with engineering company Larsen and Toubro (L&T) for cooperation to maximize localization for the Jaitapur project.
In their statement, Hollande and Modi "noted with satisfaction the ongoing time-bound implementation of cooperation" between Areva and L&T under that MOU. They also noted good progress in pre-engineering studies for the project being carried out by Areva and NPCIL. The leaders also welcomed the initialling of a revised MOU between EDF and NPCIL for the six EPRs at Jaitapur.
The statement also said France acknowledges the need for India to have a "lifetime guarantee of fuel supply and renewed its commitment to reliable, uninterrupted and continued access to nuclear fuel supply throughout the entire lifetime of the plants".
Researched and written
by World Nuclear News