Jaitapur's N-power project snippets

The much-delayed, nearly Rs.1,000-billion Jaitapur Nuclear Power Project in Ratnagiri district moved a step closer to reality on Tuesday with the signing of an important agreement between the Nuclear Power Corporation (NPC) and EDF (Electricity Of France).
French ambassador to India Francois Richier and EDF senior executive vice-president (engineering and new nuclear projects) Xavier Ursat said that the agreement opens the way for further negotiations relating to technical, cost and financing aspects.
They explained that a new aspect of the agreement is that it now relates to all six 1,650 megawatt light water reactors called the evolutionised pressurised reactor. Philippe Montarnal, nuclear counsellor in the French embassy , New Delhi, said that the earlier agreements dealt with two of the six reactors, then four and the current one focuses on all six.“This is a very important step,“ he said.
When complete, the Jaitapur Nuclear Power Project will generate about 10,000 MW of power, making it the largest nuclear power project in the world.
NPC director of projects, R Banerjee, said that the agreement will stipulate the scope of responsibility for India and France relating to the Jaitapur project.
The ambassador and Ursat said that issues relating to and, compensation to villagers and environment have been settled -a fact also confirmed by NPC officials--but declined to comment on the opposition by several anti-nuclear activists, political parties and environmentalists.
They said that discussions about nuclear liability are progressing satisfactorily . “This issue has made substantial progress and we are confident of an amicable settlement to he mutual satisfaction of both sides,“ Ursat said.
According to them, by the end of this year or the begin ning of 2017, the government will make a final `go or no go decision on implementing the project. They , however, expressed optimism that the project will turn into a reality . “The project is compliant with the will of India,“ ambassador Richier said.
Ursat said that once the programme gets the `go' it will ake a minimum of six-and-a half years to construct one reactor. Both the ambassador and Ursat, however, preferred not to stipulate a precise timeline for commissioning the project.
Ursat said that EPR was one of the safest nuclear reactors in the world and Finland and China have accepted it.
On other related issues, the ambassador said that the atomic energy commission of France is helping India with a new solar power storage technology and there was a technology demonstrator in a UP village. “We are also working on a project for providing solar power for Indian airports,'' he added.
The visit of the ambassador, Ursat and other French officials to Mumbai on Tuesday is a follow-up to the state visit to India of French President Francois Hollande from January 24-26, during which India and France drew up a co-operation roadmap for concluding techno-commercial negotiations for the Jaitapur project by the end of 2016.

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