Jaitapur plant will get consent: French ambassador

September 24th, 2011 - 1:20 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 24 (IANS) France is confident that the Jaitapur nuclear plant that has run into trouble because of earthquake concerns will get the green light, says outgoing French Ambassador Jerome Bonnafont.

“The French government is extremely confident that the green light will be given (for Jaitapur). We are absolutely sure that what is going to be developed with India is going to be at the highest levels of nuclear safety,” said Bonnafont, who will be leaving this month-end to take up a new assignment in the Nicolas Sarkozy government.

The nuclear technology that France offered for the plant in Maharashtra was the best in terms of safety, Bonnafont said.

“The best progress in European Pressurised Reactors (EPR) is in the area of safety. We are in the process of review of all our nuclear plants with the safety authority to guarantee that they are Fukushima-proof, if I may say, and that process is on,” he said, referring to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster after the Japan earthquake this year.

Bonnafont, who took over his diplomatic responsibilities in 2007, was given a warm farewell at the French embassy here Friday in which the diplomatic community of the capital came together to bid him goodbye.

“It has been a privilege to be living in India for four years. I will continue to be a friend of India even when I work in Paris,” he told the large gathering, which included Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister S. Jaipal Reddy and Communist Party of India-Marxist leader Sitaram Yechury.

France was confident that its defence manufacturer Dassault will be successful in bagging the $10.4 billion order for 126 combat jets, Bonnafont said.

“France and India are linked by a strategic partnership. It is the conviction of France that having stronger ties with India, in particular in the field of defence, is good for peace,” he said.

“We are fully confident that the decision in this (jets) project is done in a spirit of transparency, so there is a level playing field for everyone. We are completely confident that India will take the decision following all procedures,” he added.

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