Hitachi- from the country that brought the world Fukushima

Hitachi- from the country that brought the world Fukushima
We feel very sad for the people of Japan who want to end nuclear energy whilst a potential new government and big business are desperate for it

No Fukushima at Oldbury

No to Fukushima at Shepperdine!

No to Fukushima at Shepperdine!

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Jaitapur..not a done deal!

'Jaitapur not a done deal'
Ashis Ray, TNN, Jan 12, 2011, 02.24am IST


Tags:US|NPT|Luc Oursel|Indo-French Civil Nuclear Energy Pact

PARIS: The Indo-French civil nuclear energy pact-expected to install state-of-the-art technology in India in generating electricity-is not yet a done deal, according to Luc Oursel, the chief operating officer of French major Areva. Oursel on Tuesday told TOI in an exclusive chat that the Japanese government is throwing spanner in the works in respect of the estimated 7-9 billion twin reactor envisaged to be commissioned by 2018 at Jaitapur in coastal Maharashtra.

Each reactor is expected to generate 1,600mw. The best India produces today is about 250mw from a reactor.

A critical component in Areva's architecture is "extra-large forgings", which, according to a diplomatic source, is only available in Japan. Oursel, of course, claimed there are alternatives, but at the same time, strongly advocated "a bilateral agreement" between India and Japan to smoothen completion of the Jaitapur project. Ever since World War II, Japan, which suffered heavily because of atom bombs, has been an uncompromising opponent of nuclear weapons and proliferation. It has consistently demanded India's signature to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty ( NPT), which New Delhi has refused on the grounds that it is discriminatory.

Notwithstanding the waiver granted by the nuclear suppliers group (NSG), of which Japan is a member, and the safeguards agreement subsequently reached between India and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Japanese government is not convinced that the technology provided by Areva cannot also be utilized for military purposes. It is, therefore, likely to drive a hard bargain on the issue.

Japan, though, is not the only hurdle before the proposed nuclear plant in Jaitapur. Areva is clearly not happy to sign on the dotted line on the basis of the liability imposed on it by India. Oursel insisted that the rules emanating from such legislation should be "as close as possible to the international standards". Areva and its Indian partner, NPCIL, which will operate the plant, are to sign a final contract on the matter by mid-11.

Oursel was unperturbed by questions from environmental groups. "This is more than normal and necessary as part of transparency and democratic processes," he said, and added that Areva is providing support to NPCIL to answer questions.

Claiming Areva's was the most advanced architecture in terms of environmental acceptability, engineering, performance and technology, Oursel said its facilities can resist a plane crash.

France meets 80% of its electricity needs from nuclear sources. Areva has built 102 nuclear power stations worldwide, 58 of which are in France. Its main competitors are Japan-owned Toshiba Westinghouse and US controlled GE Hitachi.

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