Bilateral Civilian Nuclear Cooperation
France and India have maintained close exchanges since decades, particularly in the area of research and development. The current international context, marked by energy security and climate change challenges, has confirmed the validity of France’s historic choices made with regard to civil nuclear energy. The cooperation with India is acquiring a large-scale industrial dimension with the construction project of EPR power plants (10,000 MWe) at the Jaitapur site in Maharashtra. It also comprises the other equally important cooperation areas of research, safety and security, waste management, use of nuclear energy for applications other than electricity production (for instance, desalination), as well as education/training aspects.
Indo-French nuclear cooperation
Civilian nuclear cooperation constitutes one of the cornerstones of the Indo-French strategic partnership.
The cooperation agreement of 30 September 2008 between the Governments of the French Republic and the Republic of India, on the development of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, sets the framework of our exchanges with India not only at the industrial and commercial levels but also with regard to R&D, nuclear safety, and education/training.
On the industrial front, AREVA, which sold in 2008, 300 tons of nuclear fuel to the public electricity utility Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited, submitted a tender for two EPR reactors (2 x 1650 MWe capacity) for the Jaitapur site, along with their fuel supply. Eventually, the site is due to house four other similar reactors (10,000 MWe capacity).
With regard to R&D, various bilateral agreements provide for exchanges between French organisations (CEA, ANDRA) and Indian ones (DAE, IGCAR, BARC, HBNI) in the fields of reactor safety/security, basic research, radioactive waste management, non-electrical applications of nuclear energy. Cooperation in Education/Training includes a Master’s degree in Nuclear Energy.
Further, exchanges have been established between the nuclear safety authorities of the two countries and their technical supports.
On the multilateral front, India is participating in major international R&D projects: Jules Horowitz Reactor (nuclear fission) and ITER (thermonuclear fusion).
Nuclear Agreements signed during President Sarkozy’s visit
in December 2010
1)Commercial contract between AREVA and NPCIL “EPR Jaitapur - General Framework Agreement”
Contract for providing two EPR and supplying fuel, including the price, general terms and conditions.
2)Commercial contract between AREVA and NPCIL “EPR Jaitapur - Early Works Agreement”
Contract for preliminary works ahead of the construction of reactors.
3)Cooperation agreement between the Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique et aux Energies Alternatives and the Department of Atomic Energy of the Government of India in the Field of Nuclear Science and Technology for Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy
Framework agreement aimed at covering the entire scope of cooperation on civil nuclear energy research and development.
4)Agreement between the Government of the Republic of India and the Government of the French Republic on the Protection of Confidentiality of Technical Data and Information relating to Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy
Agreement on the protection of classified information and material.
5)Agreement between the Government of the French Republic and the Government of the Republic of India on Intellectual Property Rights relating to the Development of Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy
Agreement aimed at framing the distribution of IPR in cooperation agreements or contracts on the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
6)Arrangement between Autorité de Sûreté Nucléaire française (ASN) and the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board of the Government of India (AERB) for the exchange of technical information and cooperation in the regulation of nuclear safety and radiation protection
Cooperation on nuclear safety regulation.
7)Cooperation agreement between Institut de Radioprotection et de Sûreté nucléaire (IRSN) and Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) in the field of Nuclear Reactor Safety
Cooperation between IRSN and AERB on nuclear reactor safety (technical aspects as opposed to regulatory aspects covered by ASN and AERB).
8)Memorandum of Understanding between Agence française nationale pour la gestion des déchets radioactifs (ANDRA) and Baba Atomic Research Centre (BARC) radioactive waste management.
Exchange of information and experience in radioactive waste management.
9)Implementation agreement between the Commissariat à l’énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives (CEA) and Homi Bhabha National Institute of the Department of Atomic Energy, on jointly supervised theses.
Agreement for the organisation of exchanges between Indian and French PhD candidates.
Extracts from India-France joint Statement, State Visit of President François Hollande in India, 14-15 February 2013
In the field of energy, the Leaders expressed satisfaction in regard to ongoing collaborative projects in R&D on the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and agreed to further strengthen bilateral civil nuclear scientific cooperation. Recalling the Memorandum of Understanding signed on 4 February 2009 between NPCIL and AREVA for setting up of 6 x 1650 MWe EPR units at Jaitapur, the Leaders reviewed the status in regard to the first two EPR units and noted that NPCIL and AREVA were engaged actively in techno-commercial discussions. They expressed hope for the expeditious conclusion of the negotiations. It was emphasized that the Nuclear Power Plant at Jaitapur would incorporate the highest safety standards.