Work on Jaitapur nuclear power project will begin by December 2018 and it will be built with the help of new technology to avoid Fukushima (Japan) type disaster, a delegation representing the France government and French company implementing the project told the state government on Tuesday.
As the French delegation called on chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday, the CM asked them to clear the air about the safety of the nuclear project and communicate with the people opposing it.
“The delegation assured government that the issue of the safety of the plant has been addressed with the help of the latest technology. Other countries, too, have endorsed our efforts and United Kingdom has signed an agreement for the two nuclear power plants, we were told,” an official privy to the developments said. “They said that the actual construction of the plant will begin in December 2018 and all the six reactors will start generating power by 2027.”
Christian Masset, general secretary, ministry of foreign affairs and international development, France government, Alexandre Ziegler, ambassador of France to India and officials from the French utility EDF, which will implement the project met Fadnavis on Tuesday. Fadnavis told the delegation to clear its stand on the time frame within which the project will be completed, the apprehension in the minds of the people about their safety and the rate of the power generated in the nuclear plant.
Maharashtra government was assured that the power rate will be within the framework set by the Government of India. Fadnavis has also instructed the French utility to ensure employment to the locals in the power plant. The company was also told to establish proper communication with the locals to reduce the resistance for the plant. Apprehensions were being raised over the safety of the plant following Fukushima nuclear power plant accident following a tsunami in Japan in 2011. The tsunami damaged the plant that led to meltdown of three reactors and release of radioactive material.
The 9,900 MW capacity project, will have six reactors and the negotiation over the cost is currently on between the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd and EDF. The project, which has been in the works since 2009 and was supposed to be completed by 2018, has been delayed due to the protest and financial crisis within the French company, which was to implement the project. The project was resuscitated in January 2016 during French President Francois Hollande’s visit to India.
The official said as the France government was directly involved in the entire process, the state expects the project to be completed in the stipulated period. “Masset said the implementation of the project will be on the norms of the Make In Maharashtra initiative, ensuring maximum employment generation to locals. Around 60% of project will be built domestically, thus helping the local industrial sector to be benefited from it,”he said.
Fadnavis said Maharashtra has emerged as the power hub of the industrial development in the country and the government will extend the assistance to the company for the speedy construction of the project.