Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd. (NPCIL), a PSU under the Department of Atomic Energy, Government of India, and M/s AREVA of France have entered into a Pre-Engineering Agreement (PEA) on April 10, 2015 in connection with the proposed Jaitapur Nuclear Power Project for setting up of two EPR (Evolutional Pressurised Reactor) rectors of 1650 MWe each to be set up in collaboration with France.
The PEA mainly pertains to assessment of licenseability of the EPR project as per Indian laws, codes, guides, regulations, manuals, practices and general acceptability, as well as an informed understanding of the EPR technology itself.
The PEA will, therefore, facilitate NPCIL to obtain details of the EPR technology, make a detailed safety assessment of the plant and take up the licensing process with Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB), as soon as the Jaitapur Nuclear Power Project is taken up for implementation.
The PEA will also contribute to explore the most efficient and cost-effective pathways for project implementation, and to maximise the scope of localisation of different components of the power plant, with a view to not only make the project economical, but also enhance India’s domestic capabilities in line with the campaign for “Make in India”.
These preparatory steps are going to be necessary whenever the Jaitapur Nuclear Power Project is taken up, thus saving precious time and cost in the implementation of the project.
EPR is an advanced Light Water Reactor (LWR) technology. Understanding the nuances of this technology will also be to our advantage as NPCIL strives to augment its capability in the LWR domain.
The signing of PEA with AREVA is an important reflection of India’s abiding interest in partnering with France in the civil nuclear power sector.
The Department of Atomic Energy also welcomes the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between the Indian company L&T and M/S AREVA of France on April 10, 2015 for cooperation to maximise localisation for the EPR nuclear reactors in India. The collaboration, through transfer of technology, is expected to facilitate manufacturing in India of many critical components for the proposed Jaitapur Nuclear Power Project, which otherwise either are not accessible to India or would have to be imported. The collaboration is expected to have a multiplier effect in enhancing India’s manufacturing capabilities with cutting edge technology, not only in nuclear power sector, but in other areas as well, such as petrochemicals and infrastructure. The MOU is in accord with the “Make in India” campaign of the Government aimed at enhancing indigenous technological and manufacturing capabilities of Indian industries.