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Minister claims liability issues on Jaitapur Nuclear Plant will be sorted before Macron visit in 2023

The work at Jaitapur will commence only on the demonstration of full power operation of Flamanville-3 which is under construction in France
alyan Ray
Last Updated : 19 October 2022, 03:37 IST
Last Updated : 19 October 2022, 03:37 IST
Last Updated : 19 October 2022, 03:37 IST
Last Updated : 19 October 2022, 03:37 IST

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The Centre on Tuesday claimed that it would resolve liability issues related to the establishment of six 1650 MW Nuclear reactors at Jaitapur in Maharashtra before the scheduled visit of French president Emmanuel Macron in early 2023, raising hopes to clear the decks for construction of the reactors.

This has been conveyed by Union Minister Jitendra Singh to France Minister Chrysoula Zacharopoulou who had a detailed discussion with the Indian officials on the long-stuck project. The two countries had a discussion on Jaitapur last month too when French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna met her counterpart S Jaishankar.

Singh assured the France Minister that the technical, financial and civil nuclear liability issues would be resolved at the earliest by both sides and well before the scheduled visit of the French president in early 2023, according to an official statement issued after the meeting.

India has accorded ‘In-Principle’ approval for setting up six nuclear power reactors of 1650 MW each in technical cooperation with France to turn Jaitapur in coastal Maharashtra the world's largest nuclear power generating site with a total capacity of 9900 MW as part of an umbrella nuclear deal signed with France in September, 2008

The French company Electricite de France last year submitted to Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd its binding techno-commercial offer to build six European Pressurised Reactors. In May, this year, a high-level team from EDF visited India and held detailed talks with NPCIL officials.

NPCIL will be responsible for the construction and commissioning of the units, as well as obtaining all necessary permits and consents in India as the owner and future operator of the plant. This includes certification of the EPR technology by the Indian regulator.

The Evolutionary Pressurized Reactors (EPRs) are reactors whose design has evolved from “KONVOI’ and ‘N4’ type nuclear reactors that are in operation in Germany and France respectively for about two decades.

The work at Jaitapur will commence only on the demonstration of full power operation of Flamanville-3 which is under construction in France, as a reference plant, to have an operationally proven technology. The Flamanville-3 has been delayed due to several factors with commercial operation now postponed till end 2023.

There are currently four EPRs under construction viz. Olkiluoto-3 in Finland, Flamanville-3 in France and Taishan 1 & 2 in China. There is delay in execution of all of these projects, but the delay is not attributable to the technology.

The progress in the Jaitapur project is stuck for a long time due to three key reasons – (1) lack of clarity on liability issues (2) opposition to the project from politicians and civil society groups and (3) lack of consensus on power tariff.

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Published 18 October 2022, 18:11 IST

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