Jaitapur nuclear project gets a French push
Delegation assures government of safety; work will start in December 2018; six reactors to come up using EPR technology
Mumbai: Work on the 9900 MW Jaitapur Nuclear Power Project (JNPP) will finally take off in December 2018 and is likely to be completed by 2027.
A delegation led by French Ambassador Alexander Ziegler held a meeting with Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday to discuss the long-pending JNPP for which land has been acquired near Jaitapur plateau in Ratnagiri district.
The project, which will have six nuclear reactors, will be built using the European Pressurised Reactor (EPR) technology, which is yet to have any working nuclear plant in the world. French company EDF proposes to build six EPRs of 1600 MW each in Jaitapur. The project was earlier with another French company Areva in which EDF has now taken 51% share in the reactor business.
According to sources, the French delegation assured the State government of the safety of the plant, clarifying that technical experts have studied the nuclear tragedy in the Fukushima plant in Japan and a special security measure will be introduced to avoid any untoward incident.
Meanwhile, Mr. Fadnavis raised questions about the local opposition to the project and expected to solve the problems before going ahead with the actual work. The delegation also assured the State government that the price of the electricity from the JNPP will be reasonable according to the policy decided by the Centre.
Interestingly, despite the environmental clearance to the project seven years ago and completion of land acquisition process, no nuclear plant was set up in Jaitapur as Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) and the French company are yet to sign certain techno-commerical agreements.
“There has been no transparency about the process. What has happened to the liability issue? What about the techno-commercial agreements which were pending for all these years? People are not going to let the project functional as we oppose nuclear power vehemently. In addition, the EPR technology has not been proven anywhere in the world,” said Satyajit Chavan, convener of Jan Hakka Samiti, an umbrella organisation of the anti-JNPP groups in the region. Mr. Chavan claimed that the JNPP is more about saving the dying French nuclear industry than to provide power to the state.