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Nuclear Liability Issue Likely to Come Up During PM's France Visit

Published: 07th February 2015 12:09 AM  |   Last Updated: 07th February 2015 12:09 AM   |  A+A-

By PTI

NEW DELHI: The resolution of problems related to nuclear liability in Indo-French co-operation is likely to be discussed between the two countries when Prime Minister Narendra Modi travels to France in April. 

French Minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy Segolene Royal, who is on a three-day visit to India said this here today.     

"I am sure that he (Modi) will discuss it because this is a subject the discussion for it needs to go further... and we need to look for solutions on the issue. Lot of work has been done on the bilateral level and also between the companies.           

"I think it is a very good subject and a very important subject to understand the division of responsibilities. In France also the issue of responsibility and liability is something we are locking at and not just for nuclear energy but also renewable energy," Royal told reporters in response to a question.            

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, also visiting India, yesterday met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and discussed the Indo-US nuclear breakthrough but Fabius said it was "not in a granular form" and noted that the "template is already set" for the Indo-French nuclear cooperation.

France, whose company Areva is involved in the 9900 MW Jaitapur power plant project, has always maintained that they were ready to work within Indian domestic liability law.         

Royal, under whom the assessment of nuclear safety comes said, "we need to make judicious choices so that states can make choices that can give them more security as they work towards energy transition."    

She further said that the recent US-India civil nuclear agreement will "open up new perspectives" as to which of the two countries in the deal was going to "bear the risk" entailed in it.   India and the US signed a civil nuclear deal during President Barack Obama's visit, breaking a seven-year-old logjam over the liability issue.    

"The agreement (US-India nuclear deal) opens up new perspectives...as to who is going to bear the risk? The question of government of India to feel secure and for the US, all the American companies who will be executing the projects in India," she said.    

France in its energy sector has decided to use more renewable energy than the nuclear, and to involve access to low-carbon energy, she said.  

"We will continue to invest in new nuclear technologies. We want to have the third-generation nuclear plants and we want to invest in the fourth-generation nuclear plant, so as to use less uranium and produce less waste," she told reporters.    

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