Utorda (Goa) The construction work on the upcoming Nuclear Power Plant at Jaitapur in Maharashtra’s Ratnagiri District will begin from this year end as negotiations between entities of France and Indian government will be end by this year, a French envoy said today.
The project which has run into controversies over the safety issues raised by locals was high point of discussion between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President of France Emmanuel Macron during their meeting in Delhi.
“We have agreed on greater milestones during presidential visit during last week. NPCIL (Nuclear Power Corporation) and EDF (French power company) have signed industrial way forward agreement, which means signing the whole industrial scheme over the project,” Alexandre Ziegler, Ambassador of France to India, said.
He said that the industrial way forward agreement was “one of the major element that was to be settled before we reach the final agreement.”
“We have agreed in the joint statement during Presidential visit on ambitious time table since we are supposed to end the negotiations by the end of this year,” Ziegler said.
“It’s moving forward in a proper direction. We are aiming at starting construction work by the end of this year which means we are aiming at concluding negotiations by then,” he added.
The project is a proposed 9900 MW power project of Nuclear Power Corporation of India in Ratnagiri district. On December 6, 2010, the agreement was signed for the construction of a first set of two third generation European Pressurized Reactors and supply of nuclear fuel for 25 years in the presence of then French President Nicolas Sarkozy and then Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh.
The locals had expressed safety apprehensions over the project opposing its setting up here. The anti-nuclear activists had raised worries about the environmental impact of this project and its safety.
Ziegler said that all the precautions from the safety point of view is taken while conceiving this plant.
“Safety is a major issue for any industrial project. It is specifically a major issue for nuclear power plant. But we have latest generation reactors. They are going to be safest in the world,” he said.
“These reactors are purchased by several countries including UK. Its going to be safest reactor operational in the world,” he assured.
The Ambassador said “in addition our two officers incharge of nuclear safety are closely monitoring the project, they would be closely monitoring the installation of reactor so I don’t see any safety issue,” he added.