France, India committed to Jaitapur project

14 February 2013

Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh stated that he and France's President Francois Hollande remain committed to constructing six EPR units at Jaitapur.

During a state visit to India by Hollande, Singh said, "We reviewed progress on the Jaitapur nuclear power project and reiterated our commitment to its early implementation as soon as the commercial and technical negotiations, which have made good progress, are completed."

Hollande, Singh February 2013 (Elysee) 460
Prime Minister Singh welcome President Hollande in News Delhi (Image: Presidence de la Republique)

A memorandum of understanding to cooperate on the construction of the Jaitapur plant, including lifetime fuel supply for the units, was signed by Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) and Areva in February 2009. This was followed by the signing of major agreements 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 in Maharashtra state.

International trade in nuclear materials and technology with India had previously been severely restricted due to the country's refusal of full-scope safeguards. However, this changed in September 2008 when the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) decided to relax these restrictions for India. This was followed by a flurry of cooperation agreements with India, including one signed with the France in September 2008. However, the supply of foreign reactor technology has been hindered by the amount of money that vendors could be expected to pay in the event of an accident under India's liability laws.

A contract for the first two units at Jaitapur is expected to be signed between NPCIL and Areva as soon as negotiations over liability have successfully concluded.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News