India keen to advance progress of ‘World’s largest’ nuclear power plant

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi plans to use a state visit to Paris this week to accelerate plans for what will be the world’s largest nuclear power plant, if it goes ahead.

An official at state-run India’s Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) said his visit from 9-11th April will see him attempt to speed up price negotiations for the building of two reactors by Areva of 1650 MW each in the western state of Maharashtra.
“Techno-commercial discussions have been going on for some time now, there is desire on the part of the new government to conclude the discussions,” the official, who declined to be named because he was not authorized to speak to the media, said.

Modi has made nuclear power a key element of his clean energy strategy, and in January announced a “breakthrough” pact with US President Barack Obama to help clear a logjam of stalled projects.

India needs foreign nuclear technology and fuel to ramp up capacity by a planned 14 times from 4560 MW over the next two decades.

NPCIL and the French supplier have been trying to hammer out a contract for the past five years, wrangling over the price as well as India’s strict liability law for the plant in Jaitapur.

“The only thing I can confirm is that the teams are working,” France’s ambassador to New Delhi Francois Richier said. “It is a big project with six reactors. It is not something to be tied to a particular visit. It is really good if it happens during this visit. If not, it will happen later.”

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