THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The French Government doesn’t have double standards on the safety concerns of the people of France and India, said French Ambassador Francois Richier. Referring to the protests against the proposed 9,900 MW Indo-France nuclear power project at Jaitapur in Maharashtra, Richier said that projects employing the same technology were being set up in France, Finland and China.
Addressing mediapersons in the capital during his maiden visit to the state, Richier said that the French Nuclear Safety Authority was ready to offer its support to India, if asked for.
“European Pressurised Reactor (EPR), the third generation technology planned at Jaitapur, is resistant to earth quakes and is safe. Moreover, the EPR plants in France, Finland and China will be operational well before the Jaitapur project,” he said.
However, on the liability part if something goes wrong, the diplomat said that it would be the responsibility of the operator and not the supplier, the French Government.
Ties with Kerala
The trade and business relations between Kerala and France need to be enhanced, the Ambassador observed. “Focus will be given to bring more French investment to the state. Strengthening business and economic ties is important,” he said.
Infrastructure, urban development, energy, water management and transport are some of the sectors identified for cooperation, he said. During his three-day visit Richier will meet a host of dignitaries, including the Governor, Cm, Shashi Tharoor MP, and head of the Travancore Royal family Uthradom Thirunal Marthanda Varma.
The diplomat will interact with the French community in the capital and Kochi. On Saturday, the Ambassador will honour Fr Jacob Thekeparambil, director of the St Ephrem Ecumenical Research Institute, Kottayam, for his contributions to the preservation of Cyriac manuscripts. Consul General of France in Puducherry Pierre Fournier attended the media conference.