Areva expects delay of India's largest nuclear power development
The French multinational is slated to provide six of its third-generation, 1650-megawatt (MW) reactors for the Jaitapur Nuclear Power Project. In its preliminary assessment of Fukushima's impact on the global nuclear power sector, Areva said it expects "a potential delay linked to the Jaitapur site safety re-assessment."
The 9,900-MW Jaitapur project was facing protest from locals residents before the Fukushima incident but this is the first time either Areva or the government-owned Nuclear Power Corporation of India has said the project may be delayed.
The first two Jaitapur reactors are due to be commissioned by 2018-19, with the second phase ready by 2021-22 and the final two reactors to be completed by 2025-26.
Hindustan Times quoted a senior Indian atomic energy official as saying: "The reassessment will be based not just on the causes of the Fukushima disaster but on the lessons learned from the successes and failures in controlling the ongoing crisis."
Commenting on the basis of the concern over the possible delay, Areva India chief managing director Arthur de Montalembert said the company drew its conclusion based on Indian Prime Minister Manhohn Singh's call "for a safety review of both existing and planned nuclear power plants in India."
The Jaitapur plant is one of several nuclear power developments proposed for a 200 km strip of the Maharashtra coast, south of Mumbai, with a total generating capacity of around 33,000-MW. India currently has 4,700-MW of nuclear generating capacity.