France Thursday assured the highest safety standards for the nuclear reactors it plans to set up at Jaitapur, Maharashtra, and stressed that nuclear power would be a vital source of energy security.
“We discussed the issue of safety related to civil nuclear cooperation with India. Nuclear energy is a vital source of power provided we develop the highest standards of safety,” French foreign minister Alan Juppe told reporters at a joint press interaction with external affairs minister SM Krishna.
“France is determined to be completely open on the steps we have taken for safety,” Juppe said, adding that safety provisions would be woven into the final agreement on EPR (European Pressurised Reactors).
Krishna said: “We are committed to highest standards of safety. The government remains committed to Jaitapur plant.”
Juppe came here Thursday on a three-day visit to hold a wide-ranging strategic dialogue.
Juppe's visit comes amid growing concerns in India over nuclear safety and protests against the Russia-built Kudankulam nuclear plant. He is expected to assure New Delhi about stringent safety standards followed by French nuclear giants like Areva, which is in the middle of discussions to build two 1,650 MW reactors in Jaitapur in western India.
Unfazed by the Fukushima nuclear radiation leak, France, a leader in civilian nuclear technology, is in the middle of negotiating nuclear deals with a host of European countries and emerging economies.
France was the first country to sign a bilateral civil nuclear accord with India September 2008 after the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) amended global rules of nuclear commerce in India's favour.