India and France on Friday signed 17 pacts, including an agreement to fast-track the stalled nuclear project in Jaitapurin Maharashtra. The Jaitapur project, where French companyAreva is to set up six nuclear reactors with a total power generation capacity of about 10,000 Mw, is stuck for long because of differences over the cost of electricity to be generated. The agreement between India’s Larsen and Toubro and France’s Areva is aimed at cost reduction by increasing localisation, thereby improving the financial viability of Jaitapur project. A pact related to pre-engineering agreements between Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) and Areva is for studies intended to bring clarity on technical aspects of the plant so that Areva, Alstom and NPCIL can firm up their price and optimise all provisions for risks, still included at this stage in the costs of the project. It will enable transfer of technology and development of indigenous nuclear energy industry in India. France informed India of its decision to implement a scheme for expedited 48 hours visa issuance for Indian tourists. “There is no such sphere where India and France are not cooperating. France is among India’s most-valued friend,” PM Narendra Modi said. “I am happy that in Jaitapur, we have made progress on setting up 6 nuclear power projects. Both have signed an agreement on reducing the cost of power production and more technical support and further study,” Modi said.
“Especially, Areva and L&T have signed an agreement for making forgings in India. I feel this agreement is very significant and will be a perfect example of ‘Make in India’ and will take India to a new place in the area of advance technology.” he said.