BHEL signs MoU with EDF France to collaborate on Jaitapur NPP

BHEL signs MoU with EDF France to collaborate on Jaitapur NPP
Bharat Heavy Electrical Ltd (BHEL), a government-owned company, has announced its collaboration with France's state-owned company Electricite de France, S.A. for the proposed Jaitapur Nuclear Power Project (JNPP) in Ratnagiri. As per regulatory filings with NSE and BSE, BHEL aims to maximize the local content of JNPP, which is being established by the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL).
The JNPP would comprise six European Pressurised Reactions (EPRs) of 1,650 MWe each, slated to come up in the coastal village of Jaitapur and others in Maharashtra. The BHEL and EDF would also examine "larger collaboration for the European Pressurised Reactors (EPRs) and for the NUWARD SMR (Smaller Modular Reactor)".
Despite multiple attempts by IANS, officials from BHEL or NPCIL were unavailable to provide more information on the memorandum of understanding (MoU). However, the recent development has once again brought attention to the issue in the coastal Konkan region. Once completed, JNPP will be India's largest power plant generating up to 9,900 MW of electricity, making it one of the biggest power plants in the world. The JNPP project was proposed in 2005 but has faced significant opposition from the locals, particularly the fisherfolk, who fear that their livelihoods will be significantly impacted.
One of the prominent activists, Forum Against Disastrous Projects in Konkan Convenor Vaishali Patil said that "even today, the locals are 100 percent strongly opposed to the project" and would not allow it to come up at any cost. "If, after 19 years, the project is still at the agreement signing stage, then is there any seriousness even on the part of the government that they will construct it even in the next 50 years", Patil countered.
The Konkan Bachao Samiti (Save Konkan Committee) Co-Convenor Adwait Pednekar pointed out that though "|there are no ground-level protests currently", the people of the Konkan region are still vehemently against the JNPP for the larger and long-term consequences. "There are also issues of the high cost of power that would be produced here that would entail additional government subsidies and it is suspected that the JNPP may end up being a white elephant", Pednekar said.
Both Patil and Pednekar aver that though the project-affected persons (PAPs) of Madban and surrounding villages have reluctantly accepted the compensation for the lands acquired from them, "by no stretch of imagination can it be inferred that they are in favour of the JNPP". Pednekar emphatically added that the fishers from the Sakhari-Nate fishing village along the Jaitapur Creek, who shall be the worst hit, have not been treated as PAPs or given any compensation by the authorities. Presently, the JNPP complex comprises a boundary wall, certain internal roads, and a field office to oversee the operations there.
Source: IANS