Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) signed a memorandum of understanding with French firm Areva to set up nuclear power reactors at Jaitapur in Maharashtra here on Wednesday.
“The MoU provides for engagement of NPCIL and Areva into the discussion for preparing the contract and related detail of setting up of two to six 1,650 megawatt each European Pressurised Reactors (EPR) including lifetime fuel supply for these reactors,” NPCIL said in a statement.
SK Jain, chairman and managing director, NPCIL and Anne Lauvergeon, CEO of Areva, signed the MoU.
Reuters quoted Jain as saying that the six nuclear reactors would be worth Rs 60,000 crore ($12.3 billion). This is the
first commercial agreement for supply of nuclear reactors after India got the waiver from the Nuclear Suppliers Group to participate in the global nuclear commerce.
NPCIL, which currently operates 17 nuclear power reactors with a 4,120 mw capacity, hopes to step up atomic power generation to 20,000 mw by 2020. Currently, EPR-type of reactors are under construction in Finland, China and France.
“This is just the beginning,” said Anil Kakodkar, chairman, Atomic Energy Commission, who was present at the signing ceremony. Minister of State in the PMO, Prithviraj Chavan and Anne-Marie Idrac, French Minister for Foreign Trade were also present.
“Areva is committed to supply fuel for the lifetime of the reactors,” Lauvergeon said.
In December, India signed a contract with Areva for importing 300 tonnes of uranium. “The government would be soon announcing more nuclear parks in other parts of the country. Some locations have already been identified. The Cabinet is looking into it,” Chavan said. The parks, he said, will also have a capacity of six to eight reactors.