India set to build world's biggest nuclear plant: EDF
Paris, France: The French company Électricité de France recently managed to secure the license for a nuclear plant project in India, which had been held up by concerns over terrorism and environmental opposition for several years.
They disclosed that the company had offered to construct six third-generation EPR reactors in Jaitapur, in India's western region.
After this project is completed, the plant will produce 10 GW of electricity, enough to serve approximately 70 million households.
The site is planned to be operational for 15 years but will begin producing power in advance of that time frame.
Finalization of the contract was planned "at some point in the near future", according to an EDF representative.
EDF, which is negotiating with Indian authorities, will supply the nuclear reactors but will not build them alone.
The Nuclear Power Corporation of India controls the nuclear industry, so the French company EDF is controlled by the national nuclear regulator Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd.
The contract is said to be in the tens of billions of euros (dollars).
While the proposal has faced resistance since it was first proposed over 20 years ago, the expansion of the nuclear power plant was stalled after the 2011 disaster in Japan due to concern over the repercussions.
Although the far-right Shiv Sena, which holds power in the state of Maharashtra, initially opposed the initiative, the party has since tempered its voice.
The project is expected to employ as many as 25,000 people during construction, with a total of 7,700 in place after the structure is complete.
Local concerns including earthquake threats and the possible effects on fishing have been mentioned.
However, Xavier Ursat, director of EDF's nuclear division, says the organization believes the conditions on the site are equivalent to those found in France.
More than ten nuclear cooperation arrangements with nations including the United States, France, Russia, and Japan already exist.
Although the nation has been a traditional ally of Russia, Russia has provided nuclear fuel and has provided power plants there.
So far, only 22 nuclear power reactors are operational in India, almost all of which are PWR type, providing 3% of the country's power.