EDF, I2EN, VJTI Ink MoU for Pre-Feasibility Study on Centre of Excellence for Jaitapur Project

The move is in line with the EDF’s ongoing discussions with NPCIL for the development and construction of the biggest nuclear plant in the world, with 6 EPR units totaling close to 10,000 MWe at the Jaitapur site, Maharashtra, India.

September 14, 2020. By Manu Tayal

France’s energy giant EDF, nuclear human capacity building expert I2EN and India’s VJTI have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to conduct a pre-feasibility study for the establishment of a Centre of Excellence in the state of Maharashtra, India.

The move is in line with the EDF’s ongoing discussions with NPCIL for the development and construction of the biggest nuclear plant in the world, with 6 EPR units totaling close to 10,000 MWe at the Jaitapur site, Maharashtra, India.

EDF said that it is committed to developing a large pool of diversified skills in India to support the successful implementation of the Project and the Skill India initiative with locally trained resources.

EDF Group has developed a diversified generation mix based on nuclear power, hydropower, new renewable energies and thermal energy. International Institute of Nuclear Energy (I2EN) is a consortium that brings together French nuclear stakeholders (industry, academia, and research) involved in education & training. While, Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute (VJTI) is an academically and administratively autonomous engineering institute located in Mumbai and owned by the Government of Maharashtra.

Through this initiative, the 3 partners intend to contribute to consolidating the Indo-French bilateral cooperation in the field of civil nuclear at the institutional, industrial and academia level, enhancing best industrial practices, highest standards in safety and advanced training approaches, the company said in a statement.

Further, the Jaitapur project is a strategic project for the Indo-French partnership that will be contributing to the creation of high-skilled jobs in India with roughly 25,000 direct employment opportunities during the construction phase of 2 EPR units. Able to generate up to 75 TWh of carbon free electricity per year by 2035.

It will power an equivalent of 70 million households, avoiding the emission of 80 million tons of CO2 per year.

Commenting on the development, Prof. Dhiren Patel, Director, VJTI specified that “this Centre of Excellence will provide a networked platform for the specific skills as required in relation to EPR technology. VJTI as one of the pioneers of the country’s engineering education can use its rich experience in capacity building to create sustainable training and research ecosystem as required for the successful implementation and operation of this critical project and for the future projects in “atma-nirbhar” (self-reliant) mode with a special thrust on safety.”

The Centre of Excellence will target the development of all the skills necessary for the implementation of the Jaitapur Project at the stages of design, procurement, construction, commissioning and operational activities.

“Training is a key component for a successful nuclear project. It drives local economic development creating new jobs in the industry, the operating company and the Indian supply chain. I2EN will contribute to this important project and is looking forward to a fruitful collaboration with VJTI and other Indian nuclear stakeholders,” commented Dr. Henri SAFA, Director, I2EN.

Vakis Ramany, EDF Group, Senior Vice President in charge of New Nuclear Development said that “EDF is strongly committed to accompanying the Skills India national program: investment in Human Capacity Building and skills development is at the forefront of our actions to support the Jaitapur six-EPR Project and more widely the Indian nuclear industry.”

“We are convinced that this Centre of Excellence will foster the growth and consolidation of the specific set of skills needed for the EPR technology development in India while contributing to the employability of Indian technicians and engineers in the near future,” Ramany added.

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