French Ambassador to India Francois Richier stated this on the sidelines of an event here yesterday.
In 2012, the Indian Government gave its approval to set up six nuclear reactors in partnership with France-based Areva at Jaitapur in Maharashtra.
The nuclear project at Jaitapur, which would be built in collaboration with French firm Areva, had run into rough weather, as protesters have argued that it would harm the local environment and put people at risk.
In a further sign of trouble, several violent protests erupted last year at the site of a proposed plant in Jaitapur which were also stoked by fears of a Fukushima-style disaster.
Richier observed that France wants to establish strong nuclear ties with India that encompasses scientific research, training and development.
"What we are talking about is long term engagements of France in the nuclear sector in India which covers scientific research, training, exchanges of students and also of course power generation in Maharashtra. The plan is to build six nuclear reactors, each 1,650 mega watts and to start with two of them and this is what we are discussing today," said Richier.
The Fukushima nuclear plant mishap in March 2011 after an earthquake and tsunami caused radiation to spew over large areas of northern Japan.
Consequent to a popular backlash, a slew of countries, including nuclear heavyweights Germany, France and Japan did pledge to slash their reliance on atomic power.
Further Ambassador Richier said that after French companies have invested 18 billion dollars in India, a sign of fortified relations between the two nations.
"French companies have invested in India, 18 billion dollars which covers a wide range of activities, pursued by 350 French companies plus their subsidiaries. So, it is a very sizeable investment probably among the top foreign investments in India. What I would like to say that in this respect Tamil Nadu occupies a very important part of this overall investment," added Richier.
Unable to rely on a coal sector crippled by supply shortages and mired in scandals, India is pushing ahead with plans for nuclear reactors despite global jitters over safety.
Hundreds of millions of Indians still live without power and factories suffer frequent blackouts - an embarrassment to India's aspirations as an emerging economic powerhouse.
India has 20 nuclear reactors in operation in six power plants, generating over 4,000 megawatts of electricity while five other plants are under construction.
--ANI (Posted on 21-09-2013)