India has reaffirmed its intention to build EPRs in Jaitapur

On May the 4th, President Emmanuel Macron received the Indian Prime Minister as part of a bilateral meeting. The two parties underlined their commitment to the continuation of the construction project of six EPRs on the Jaitapur site.

During the visit of the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modī, on May the 4th, France and India “reaffirmed their determination to ensure the success of the strategic EPR reactor project” in India and welcomed the progress made on the subject. As a reminder, on April 22 2021, EDF submitted a technical-commercial offer for the supply of engineering studies and equipment for construction.

This joint declaration is a positive signal in favor of this project initially launched in 2009 by Areva then taken over by EDF. It aims to build six EPRs on the Jaitapur site in the state of Maharashtra in India. The two heads of state pledged to continue and strengthen contacts on the subject with the aim of “providing reliable, affordable and low-carbon energy in India”, declared President Macron’s office.

A contribution to the country’s security of supply

This project, with an installed capacity of 9.6 GW, would supply a population of 70 million inhabitants and help diversify and decarbonize Indian electricity. Electricity consumption in the country is forecasted to triple by 2050 (particularly due to air conditioning), according to the International Energy Agency. The recent heat waves in the country already show the country’s sensitivity to this need.

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Despite a major effort by the Indian state to democratize access to electricity, nearly 74% of it is produced with coal, a massive emitter of greenhouse gases. This project to build three pairs of reactors would prevent the emission of nearly 80 million tonnes of CO2, thus limiting the climate footprint of the world’s second largest consumer of coal.

Finally, the socio-economic benefits of the project in India would be significant with the creation of thousands of local jobs per pair of EPRs for the construction phase alone, as well as 2,700 permanent jobs during the production phase. France will also benefit from significant spinoffs for the French nuclear industry throughout the duration of the project.

Publiushed on 19 May 2022

Copyright photo : Daniel Pier / NurPhoto / NurPhoto via AFP