NEW DELHI: France has offered to take locals near its proposed Jaitapur nuclear power plant to inspect its various operating reactors to assuage fears over safety. This offer was made by the chairman of the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission Bernard Bigot, while speaking to reporters on Wednesday.
“You can bring some of the representatives of the local populations and visit France and see how it works. We are operating 58 nuclear power units,” said Bigot.
France has been given allocated land in Jaitapur to build six units of 1,650 megawatt each, but has been facing delays due to opposition from locals, including Shiv Sena. During his visit to India, Bigot met with secretary, Department of Atomic Energy Srikumar Banerjee and other officials, where they reviewed safety aspects of French Evolutionary Pressurised Reactor, in the context of the Fukushima disaster in 2011.
He added that the people’s concern had to be addressed. “If you have no clear support of the majority of local people, there is no way to operate such a reactor. So the recommendations is that for full agreement…go to the local people, let them ask any question they have and to the best of your knowledge and with full sincerity make the right answer,” he said.
Bigot hoped that the commercial agreement for between NPCIL and Areva can be signed before the end of this year.
Asked about French concerns over India’s nuclear liability law which puts onus on suppliers too, Bigot said that since the matter was still in the Indian Parliament, France was awaiting the final decision before taking a position.