Negotiations on Jaitapur N-plant resume

Negotiations on Jaitapur N-plant resume

India has resumed negotiation to conclude the commercial contract for the first two 1,650 MW European Pressurised Reactor (EPR) reactors from France for Jaitapur after the French government submitted its EPR review report to the department of atomic energy.

“The project is on the road and we hope to reach an agreement. The process may take one year and the ground breaking can happen in the next one and a half years,” said Bernard Bigot, chairman of the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), who met Srikumar Banerjee, chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission here on Wednesday.

Even as agitations were going on in Jaitapur against the nuclear project, the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) suspended the commercial negotiation temporarily as the French nuclear regulator (AS­N) was reviewing the EPR safety features in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

After the report was presented to the French government, a detailed English translation was presented to the DAE in January. The negotiation resumed afterward. India plans to install six 1,650 MW EPRs in Jaitapur but the memorandum of understanding has been signed only for the first two.

Areva officials, however, told Deccan Herald that they could not disclose the progress made in negotiation so far and when the contract might be signed. Bigot claimed EPR will now have two additional gen sets – in excess of four diesel generators sets as provided in the original design – to take care of sustained station black out condition if any massive beyond-design type natural calamity struck an EPR reactor.

The additional safety features would not add to the cost to which the EPR reactors were offered to India, he said.

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