The government informed Parliament on Thursday that it was earnestly trying to sort out with France the issues pertaining to the construction of 1650 MW nuclear power reactors in Jaitapur in Maharashtra.
"Much of the conflict of views on the two sides happened because of geopolitical reasons. We are, very earnestly, trying to sort it out and we are moving forward," Minister of State for Atomic Energy Jitendra Singh said in the Rajya Sabha during the Question Hour.
He was responding to a supplementary question asked by Congress leader Jairam Ramesh on the status of construction of nuclear power reactors in Jaitapur.
There are technical, financial and civil nuclear liability issues that both sides have to resolve.
India has announced plans to construct six 1,650 MW nuclear power plants at Jaitapur in Ratnagiri which could become the nation's largest nuclear power site once completed with a 9,900 MW capacity.
Replying to another supplementary query asked by Muzibulla Khan of the BJD on the progress of new power reactors to come up in four states, the minister said, "The projects are in progress.... There has not been unnecessary delay." In 2017, the cabinet had approved setting up of power reactors in four states with an outlay of Rs 1.05 lakh crore. Two power reactors each will come up in Karnataka, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.
These projects will be implemented in a phased manner by 2031, he added.
Highlighting the steps taken to boost the atomic power generation in the country, the minister said the government took out-of-the-box and path-breaking decisions which resulted in increase in the country's total atomic energy generation from 35,333 million units to 47,112 million units at present.
He said the government has kept aside a budget of Rs 3,000 crore exclusively for atomic energy generation for the next 10 years. The target is to increase the generation capacity three times by 2024-25.
Usually, power reactors and nuclear plants were located in southern India and in western Maharashtra. Efforts have been made to set them up in other parts of the country, he said.
The minister further said the government has for the first time permitted joint venture with public sector undertakings in the area of atomic energy generation, a move that will help in addressing the financial constrains.
"We are making good progress in two such JVs," he said, adding that the JVs have been signed with NTPC and Indian Oil Corporation (IOC).
He said that the government has opened JV with public sectors. "Maybe we will think about (public private parternship) in future," he added.