India Takes a Step in Building World’s Biggest Nuclear Plant

The plant will be built with help from French firm EDF.

2 min read
Nuclear plant. Image for representational purposes.

France-based energy firm EDF on Friday, 23 April, took a key step in helping build the world's biggest nuclear power plant in India, a project that was stalled for years by nuclear events and local opposition, AFP reported.

According to the company, it was in a binding offer to supply engineering studies and equipment to build six, third-generation EPR reactors in Maharashtra’s Jaitapur.

The company is not engaged to build the power plant itself, but provide nuclear reactors in a deal between India and US partner GE Steam Power.

The facility aims to generate 10 gigawatts (GW) of electricity, which is roughly enough supply for 70 million households. The plant’s construction is expected to take 15 years, however, it should be able to begin generating electricity before the construction concludes, AFP reported.

The EDF, in a statement said that the finalisation of the contract was expected "in the coming months", AFP reported.

Financial details of the project have not been released but the contract is estimated to be worth tens of billions of euros (dollars), AFP reported.

When the idea was first deliberated 20 years ago, it had faced local opposition and was put off after the nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Japan in 2011. Risks of earthquakes and the potential effect on local fishing were cited as key issues.

The Shiv Sena had also raised objections against the plant earlier.

As per EDF estimates, the project will generate 25,000 local jobs during its construction, and around 2,700 permanent jobs.

But the head of EDF’s nuclear division Xavier Ursat told AFP that the site's "geological conditions are excellent and fully comparable to what we find in a country such as France".

(With inputs from AFP)

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