Dr Singh, Sarkozy N-power Maharashtra!
France on Monday became the first country to sign agreements to set up nuclear reactors in India, two years after India's nuclear isolation prompted by Pokhran tests in 1998, ended.
Five path-breaking agreements to establish the first two of the six reactors in Jaitapur in Maharashtra at a cost of approx $25 billion (Rs 1.12 lakh crore) were inked in the presence of visiting
French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who paved the way for that during their talks over dinner on Sunday. also decided to work for doubling bilateral trade to 12 billion euros (Rs 71,7500 crore) by 2012, much of which is expected to be propelled by enhanced cooperation in the fields of civil nuclear energy and civil aviation.
Click on NEXT to read further...
Image: French President Nicolas Sarkozy with Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh before their meeting in New Delhi
India, France ink seven pacts
After the talks the two sides signed seven pacts, five of them in the civil nuclear field and one each for co-production of films and cooperation in the earth system science and climate.
Image: Sarkozy and Dr Singh during the signing of agreements between the two countries
Maharashtra plant, the first of its kind in India
The general framework agreement for building the European pressure reactors was signed between the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited and French company Areva.
The plant, which is intended to have six reactors in all at a cost of 25 billion dollars (Rs 1.12 lakh crore), will ultimately produce 10,000 MW of power.
Image: Dr Singh and Pranab Mukherjee at the delegation-level talks in New Delhi
First N-plant to come up after seven years in Maharashtra
Agreements have been signed and clearances granted for the first two nuclear power plants. Areva has said it would take up to seven years for the first nuclear power plant to be made operational after the first pour of concrete.
While noting that India's current nuclear power generation capacity is 4,000 MW, Singh said setting up of the plant with the help of Areva will go a long way in enhancing the country's electricity production.The other pacts signed in the civil nuclear field include Early Works Agreement between NPCIL and AREVA for implementation of European pressurised reactor units at Jaitapur.
Photographs: Philippe Wojazer/Reuters
France to build reactors speedily: Sarzkozy
The two reactors of Jaitapur would be built at a cost of 7 billion euros and will have guaranteed fuel supply from France for 25 years.An agreement for cooperation between the Department of Atomic Energy and Commissariat A L'energie Atomique Et Aux Energies Alternatives in the field of nuclear science and technology for peaceful uses of nuclear energy was also signed.
Image: Sarkozy has a chat with Dr Singh at Hyderabad House in New Delhi on Monday
Photographs: Lionel Bonaventure/Reuters
France, our most reliable defence partner: Dr Singh
"In the field of nuclear energy, negotiations have reached an advanced stage to pave the way for the launching of nuclear power reactors in Jaitapur in partnership with Indian industry," Singh said.
"Several other agreements to expand interaction in the nuclear sector to areas such as research and training of scientists and students, nuclear safety, nuclear waste management and regulatory practices have been concluded," he added.Describing France as India's "most important and reliable defence partner", the prime minister appreciated Paris's willingness to supply advanced defence technologies to contribute to the modernisation of this industry.
Photographs: Philippe Wojazer/Reuters
Pakistan should fight terror menace determinedly: Sarkozy
"With the tragic losses suffered in November 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai particularly in mind, we call for the active prosecution of the authors of such crimes and their accomplices and urge that they be brought to justice expeditiously," said a joint statement issued after the talks.
Both leaders expressed concern at the "continuing existence of safe havens and sanctuaries for terrorist groups beyond Afghanistan's borders and resurgence of terrorist groups", it said in an apparent reference to Pakistan.
They agreed that terrorism must be combated firmly by the international community and asked the "neighbours" of Afghanistan to play a "constructive role conducive to the country's stabilisation and development in its regional environment," the statement said.
The two sides also decided to work together in the international bodies to counter financing of terrorism and money laundering.
Image: Sarkozy applauded India's efforts to normalise relations with Pakistan
Photographs: B Mathur/Reuters