Areva may make EPR reactors in India

New Delhi: French nuclear major Areva, the world's largest manufacturer of nuclear reactors, expects to ramp up its presence in India once the Indo-US nuclear deal goes through.

An accord on sharing technology to develop civil nuclear energy was signed between India and France during a visit in February this year by the French President, Jacques Chirac.

Areva's executive board chairperson, Ms Anne Lauvergeon, speaking at a meeting organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) said Areva would become a a major player in India's nuclear programme as soon as the international framework allows it. Areva already has a presence in the transmission and distribution segment in India.

Ms Lauvergeon said, "We expect that a significant share of an `EPR reactor' will be manufactured in India. And there is a potential to source in India some components to other international markets," she said. The EPR is Areva's next-generation European Pressurised Reactor.

Speaking later at the meeting, the Minister for Science, Technology and Ocean Development, Kapil Sibal, said that by 2025, India hoped to produce 25 per cent of its power generation from nuclear energy as compared to only 2.7 per cent at present.