India Pushing For Jaitapur Nuclear Plant Despite Cost Escalation

India Pushing For Jaitapur Nuclear Plant Despite Cost Escalation

Ignoring both local protests as well as the fact that French nuclear giant Areva S.A. is facing a financial crisis, the Indian nuclear establishment continues to push for the Jaitapur Nuclear Power Project (JNPP) planned in Ratnagiri, Maharashtra.

A fresh bid to hammer out a deal is expected when French President Emmanuel Macron visits India, most likely in December.

JNPP, first envisioned in 2009, kick-started with an agreement for two of six third-gen 1,650-MW European Pressurised Reactors (EPR) — totalling 9,900 MW — plus supply of nuclear fuel for 25 years. The deal was signed between Areva S.A. and the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd. (NPCIL) in 2010.

However, the situation has since altered dramatically. Governments have changed in both countries, Areva S.A. had to be bailed out and now its new owner, Electricite De France (EDF), is reportedly insisting on a hike in per megawatt (MW) cost of around 25 percent from the original quotation of Rs 30 crore per MW.

The Pittsburgh-based Westinghouse — whose technology was bought by Areva S.A., and which was also in deep financial crisis — filed for bankruptcy earlier this year, sending shockwaves in the global nuclear industry. Read More…

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