Negotiations with French company Areva on the nuclear plant at Jaitapur could restart soon, a senior official of the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) said on Monday.

The talks were stalled owing to a safety review of all the nuclear plants by the French Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN). The review has since been completed. It included the Evolutionary Pressurised Reactors (EPRs), the type of reactors that are proposed to be installed at Jaitapur.

NPCIL's Director (Technical) S.A. Bhardwaj told reporters that a report of the ASN was being studied and the exercise could take about a week. “A quick scan of the report shows that there are no comments on any additional system that has been added to the EPRs.”

Hope on Kudankulam

Asked about the nuclear plant at Kudankulam, whose commissioning has been stalled following protests from the local community, he hoped that the agitation would be called off soon, and noted that a number of contract employees had taken jobs elsewhere as the protesters were not letting them inside the plant.

Mr. Bhardwaj denied that the nuclear establishment was “secretive” about the health impact of nuclear power. Studies both within and outside the country showed that such plants were highly safe. “We are not secretive. It was just that earlier we had been focussing more on the role of nuclear power in meeting the energy needs of the country. We have made changes now and we talk more on nuclear safety also.”