AREVA signed two agreements with its Indian partners for the preparation of the 9,900-MW Jaitapur European Pressurized Reactors (EPR) project and outlined the importance of the project. Jaitapur is in the western state of Maharashtra. The nuclear-reactor park, which will comprise six 1,650-MW nuclear reactors, is expected to be the world’s largest. AREVA signed the agreements in the presence of Indian Prime Minister Narender Modi, during his visit to France, and French President François Hollande.
AREVA designed this type of reactor. There are no EPRs operating anywhere in the world yet, although some are under construction in France, Finland and China.
A Pre-engineering Agreement contract with Indian operator Nuclear Power Corp. of India Ltd (NPCIL) for the preparation of EPR licensability in India will enable both companies to finalize the technical configuration of the project. AREVA also signed a memorandum of understanding with Larsen & Toubro, India’s largest engineering and construction conglomerate, to explore avenues of collaboration for the Jaitapur project. The MoU is part of the new government’s “Make in India” initiative, which involves the manufacture of heavy forgings critical for making the outer casket for nuclear reactors, which AREVA sources from Japan.
According to Greenpeace: “The fact that Jaitapur is located on a seismic zone is of grave concern. … The events of Fukushima will certainly further intensify those concerns.” Despite protests, the state government has said it “is committed to completing the project at any cost.”
In February 2009, AREVA and NPCIL signed a memorandum of understanding for a partnership in nuclear-power generation to build up to six EPR reactors at the Jaitapur site. A General Framework Agreement for the construction of the first two EPR reactors was signed in December 2010.