India nuclear plant with French reactors gets green go-ahead

28th November 2010, Comments 1 comment

India on Sunday gave environmental clearance for a nuclear power plant to be built in collaboration with French firm Areva, days ahead of President Nicolas Sarkozy's scheduled visit to New Delhi.

Environment minister Jairam Ramesh said the go-ahead for the Jaitapur plant in Maharashtra state, which will use nuclear reactors supplied by Areva, was granted with 35 conditions and safeguards.

"From an environmental point of view, nuclear energy is a cleaner option than coal," Ramesh said in a press release, adding that he has called for further studies into the power station's potential environmental impact.

A 34-year-old embargo on civilian nuclear exchanges with India, imposed in 1974 following a series of Indian nuclear tests, was lifted in 2008 after years of negotiations between India and the United States.

France has since signed an agreement with India covering nuclear energy cooperation, while Russia has also signed a similar accord.

The power station will be situated in the coastal region of Maharashtra, home to India's financial capital of Mumbai, and has faced protests from locals and anti-nuclear activists.

Ramesh said nuclear energy accounted for about 2.9 percent of India's energy generation, and the government wanted to increase the figure to six percent by 2020 and possibly 13 percent by 2030.

Some local media reported that Areva and the Indian state-run Nuclear Power Corporation (NPC) would sign the agreement during Sarkozy's trip to Delhi.

The French president's itinerary has yet to be confirmed but he is expected to arrive in India at the end of next week.

The NPC predicts the first reactor, costing an estimated four to six billion euros (5.3-7.9 billion dollars) will be commissioned in 2017-18.

The proposed project will eventually have six reactors generating 1,650 megawatts each. It has several more government regulatory hurdles to overcome before being given the final go-ahead.

India is dependent on oil imports for 70 percent of its fast-expanding energy needs, and is on the hunt for new sources to fuel its rapid growth.

© 2010 AFP

1 Comment To This Article

  • Satish Chandra posted:

    on 28th November 2010, 21:07:41 - Reply

    I am India’s expert in strategic defence and the father of India’s strategic program, including the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program. I stated the objections to the nuclear deal in my blog titled ‘Nuclear Supremacy For India Over U.S.’ which can be found by a Yahoo search with the title, as follows:-
    1) The first and a fundamental objection is spending untold billions of dollars on imported reactors instead of ploughing the money into India’s own nuclear power program more advanced and more capable (thanks to its nuclear “isolation” and apartheid) than that of the United States in important ways. It can be expanded 10 or 20-fold so India becomes one of the world’s biggest EXPORTERS, not an IMPORTER, of the world’s best and most economical reactors with the shortest time for installation (all this is true of Indian reactors even at this moment). There is significant demand for Indian reactors from other countries. This by itself is enough reason to summarily and totally reject the nuclear deal. Indians, such as the head of the Nuclear Power Corporation of India, S. K. Jain, say they will not export them unless they receive permission from the white master. In an act of treason, the National Security Adviser M. K. Nayanan has said that importing uranium from non-NSG countries — the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) is a cartel like OPEC — will be against “international law”. Similarly, in another act of treason, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee during his recent visit to Egypt said that India cannot engage in nuclear trade with other countries because it is not a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty. These statements have gone unchallenged in India’s media controlled by CIA-RAW. India can extract an unlimited amount of uranium from sea water for which the Japanese demonstrated the technology and economic viability decades ago and for which India’s Department of Atomic Energy has developed indigenous technology but the United States has been suppressing this option because it will subvert its attempts to bring and keep countries like India in slavery and Indian politicians and scientists, bought up by the United States, are keeping quiet about it.
    2) The second objection is that the imported reactors will be light water reactors. These will not only make India dependent in perpetuity on imported fuel and vulnerable to all kinds of pressures but, even if an unlimited amount of fuel was somehow magically guaranteed, it will fatally injure both India’s 3-stage nuclear power program and its nuclear weapons program. This is so even if there was not an upper limit of 20% enrichment while reprocessing the waste fuel from the imported reactors. Light water reactors are inherently “proliferation-resistant” (that is, it is difficult to get bomb-grade material from them), though not “proliferation-proof”. In any case, the 20% cap on enrichment (weapons and certain types of reactors require around 95% enrichment) cripples India’s strategic (nuclear weapons) program– because parity with or supremacy over the United States requires at least ten thousand nuclear warheads– and ensures permanent slavery to the white man and permanent serfdom to India.
    When the Russians offered the two light water reactors, now under construction in India at Kalpakkam, the Department of Atomic Energy had strongly opposed it correctly saying that it will only benefit the Russian nuclear industry and light water reactors will break India’s control over the nuclear fuel cycle and subvert India’s 3-stage nuclear power program as well as its nuclear weapons program. But Vajpayee shoved it down India’s throat on the instructions of the C.I.A. which calculated that there will be less resistance to such a disadvantageous deal with the Russians and once a couple of light water reactors have been brought in, it will set the stage for a full-scale American assault to subjugate and disembowel India’s nuclear program. A bought up Kakodkar is now lying and saying that importing Russian reactors was always in the plans. Press reports at the time of Manmohan Singh’s visit to Washington in July, 2004, during which he signed the joint statement of July 18, 2004 with Bush about the nuclear deal, etc., had said Kakodkar had strenuously objected to the deal but was silenced by the traitor ambassador of India in Washington by saying the Prime Minister had to have a “successful” visit. After he was bribed, Bush asked Kakodkar, during his visit to New Delhi in March, 2006 if he was happy now.
    3) Then there are the various requirements in the July 18 ‘05 joint statement such as separation of civilian and military reactors, IAEA inspections on the civilian reactors including all imported ones, the necessity to get Nuclear Suppliers Group approvals, etc. which cripple India’s nuclear program as a whole and bind it hand and foot to the United States.
    4) Then there is the blizzard of demands and restrictions in the Hyde Act and previous U.S. legislation including the prohibition of testing (the latest ‘concession’ by the U.S. on testing simply says that, rather than a test resulting in automatic return of all imported U.S. equipment, the U.S. president may ALLOW India to conduct a test at his pleasure if India begs and convinces the White Master) that make India a total slave to the United States which, even under the documents, will be able to do any damn thing it wants to India in all its internal and external affairs– a serfdom that is comprehensive and complete.
    5) Then there is the United States’ propensity and certainty of doing things to India– once it has India dependent on U.S. reactors, fuel, permissions, etc.– to arm-twist, blackmail and invade if the lesser breeds don’t do everything it wants them to do– the kind of things it has done and is doing to Iraq and will certainly do to India, including its complete nuclear disarmament, participation in U.S.-led military campaigns against other countries, the total colonisation of its economy and manpower to serve American needs, etc.
    Indians on the C.I.A.’s payroll have been pushing this deal which should have been and was instantly and totally rejected, not just by me. The BJP/Vajpayee came out with a written statement rejecting the deal within a couple days of the joint statement of July 18 ‘05 (before the Hyde Act, the 123 agreement, etc.) but they have been yielding to the transgressions of Manmohan Singh progressively and now Advani says everything is fine so long as India can conduct nuclear tests in a Pokhran III! This is extremely stupid, to take the most charitable view of him. [Since I wrote the above, it has become clear that the BJP's Jaswant Singh had made the deal with the U.S. in his numerous meetings with U.S. State Department official Talbott and subsequently, because of which he later congratulated Foreign Secretay Menon for having done a "superb job" of negotiating the 123 agreement and still later said there will be no major changes in the nuclear deal if the BJP returns to power. The BJP's show of opposition was to throw dust in the eyes of the people; see my blog for how, after British rule, India has been under C.I.A. rule].

    Getting India’s nuclear facilities under IAEA safeguards, whether or not India imports American reactors, has been a prime American goal because at least 75% of the damage to India’s nuclear program would have been done once the facilities are placed under IAEA inspections, even if nothing further is done and no nuclear deal with the United States is finally signed and no foreign reactors, from the United States or from Russia or France, are bought. Any move to put Indian nuclear facilities under IAEA safeguards, beyond the ones under IAEA inspections at present, is a grave injury to the nation and an invasion of India like the American invasion of Iraq and deserves a response appropriate to an invasion. If the nuclear deal with the United States is abandoned but IAEA inspections are brought in on the pretext that they are needed to import reactors and fuel from Russia — one prong of the American strategy and the Americans’ Indian collaborators has been to get the IAEA inspections in place without completing the nuclear deal with the United States and buy Russian reactors instead of American ones, to begin with — the import of Russian reactors instead of pumping the money into the indigenous nuclear program will be an additional injury. I have said India’s nuclear program should be designed and operated so that electricity is a byproduct of producing material for making weapons rather than material for making weapons being a byproduct of producing electricity. Manmohan Singh is still starving the Indian nuclear program of funds and still blocking the option of getting uranium from non-NSG countries, if necessary, though simply exploiting the uranium reserves in the country already known — at present only 300 tons per year is mined though the known reserves are over 78,000 tons not counting the extremely rich deposits recently found in Ladakh — is quite enough for India’s needs. It is a lie to say that India’s nuclear power production cannot be expanded beyond 10,000 MW on domestic uranium, though the production of electricity must be a byproduct of producing material for making weapons. A country that has ten thousand nuclear warheads and the means to deliver them to the continental United States cannot be restricted from importing, without IAEA inspections, etc., however much uranium it wants from wherever it wants by the United States or any other power; the power of nuclear weapons is what India needs; electricity can be produced in numerous other ways for the time being. Agreeing to even talks on new inspections with the IAEA — an instrument of American imperialism — are acts of treason and deserve punishment as severe as for the rest of the nuclear deal.
    Nuclear supremacy over the United States has to be India’s national objective and its one point agenda (see my articles ‘What is nuclear supremacy?’ and ‘Why nuclear supremacy?’ in my blog). The nuclear deal is totally incompatible with nuclear supremacy over the United States and deserves to be summarily rejected without going into any details. This is the most fundamental objection of all.
    I have repeatedly said there will be no nuclear deal and described in my blog steps I have already taken to enforce this by the nuclear destruction of New Delhi and then the coast-to-coast destruction of the United States by India with 5,000 nuclear warheads and extermination of its population.