India and France discuss ways to speed up the building of world's largest nuclear site

The Indian government had confirmed in December 2021 that in-principle approval for the installation of the nuclear reactors, each with a capacity of 1650 MW, had been granted.

Published: 19th October 2022 01:48 PM  |   Last Updated: 19th October 2022 08:05 PM   |  A+A-

Nuclear reactor

Image used for representational image. (File Photo | AP)

NEW DELHI: India and France on Tuesday discussed ways to speed up the building of six new European Pressurised Nuclear Power Reactors (EPRs) with a total capacity of 9900 MW at Jaitapur in the Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra.

The project can make Jaitapur the largest nuclear power-generating site in the world surpassing the current record holder, the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant in Japan, that has a capacity of 7965 MW.

India's current nuclear power capacity stands at 6780 MW. The government plans to more than treble this to 22480 MW by 2031.

The Indian government had confirmed in December 2021 that in-principle approval for the installation of the nuclear reactors, each with a capacity of 1650 MW, had been granted.

On October 18, a French delegation, led by Cherysoula Zacharopoulou, the Minister of State for Development met the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) of Science and Technology and Space and Atomic Energy Dr Jitendra Singh  to discuss "ways to speed up the setting up of the nuclear power reactors".

Emmanuel Lenain, France's Ambassador to India and other French officials including Thomas Mieusset, nuclear counsellor, also joined the deliberations, a Depatment of Atomic Energy press release added.

“The French company EDF last year submitted to Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd its bidding techno-commercial offer to build six European Pressurised Reactors (APRs) at Jaitpur," the official statement stated, adding that a high-level team from EDF had already visited India and held a detailed discussion with NPCIL officials.

During the meeting with the French minister, Dr Singh assured that all technical, financial and civil nuclear liability issues will be resolved before the scheduled visit of French President Emmanuel Macron in early 2023. 

"The French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire is also scheduled to visit India by the middle of December this year," said the official statement of the Department of Atomic Energy.

Both sides also reaffirmed their commitment to the success of the strategic Jaitpur EPR project for access to reliable, affordable and low-carbon energy and agreed to sort out pending issues.

Sources said that the NPCIL will be entrusted with the task of construction and commissioning of units as well as obtaining all necessary permits and clearance in India as the owner and future operator of these plants.

In India, functional nuclear power plants have generated 755 billion units of electricity so far, which translates to a saving of 650 million tons in CO2 emission, according to the release.

The minister during the discussion said that the present nuclear power capacity of 6780 MW is

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