French nuclear electrical major AREVA will be setting up four to six European Pressurised Water Reactors (EPRs) in India by 2020…
Although it is uncertain when they would be able to begin their work, AREVA’s Chairman and Managing Director Aurthur deMontalembert who has come to head the newly set up office of AREVA in Mumbai for establishing EPR in India said they were planning for four to six units of 1600 MW each. He said, “the company was interested in keeping the tariff as low as possible although nuclear power is capital intensive.”
AREVA will also be supplying fuel to India and since the fuel (uranium) cost is stable and predictable, the French company is looking forward to better economical solutions in India. AREVA invests in entire nuclear fuel cycle, including mining, enrichment, fuel fabrication and safety (to reduce operator exposure).
With the crucial decision by the Nuclear Suppliers Group in September, both India and France could work together to supply much needed energy to India. Since it was important to reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, AREVA had the solution with nuclear power generation and not with transportation solution, he said.
Huge investment decisions have to be taken in the next few years and “we invest massively in nuclear power, its transmission and distribution market up to $40 billion,” he said.
AREVA is building EPR 1600 Mw reactors: one in Finland, one in France and two in China. The EPR is an active type of reactor with various safety features. The first EPR that is under construction in Finland will become operational by 2010-11.
AREVA is also building an enrichment plant in USA, deMontalembert said at the annual conference of Indian Nuclear Society.
AREVA believes in closed fuel cycle, has the experience of already recycling 24,000 tonnes of spent fuel, which makes the nuclear energy programme more economical and also optimising energy security, he added.