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France assures India about stringent nuclear safety standard

New Delhi: Civil nuclear cooperation was one of the key issues discussed today by India and France, which assured New Delhi that stringent safety standards will be implemented in the proposed plants in Jaitapur amid nuclear safety concerns.

External Affairs Minister S M Krishna and his French counterpart Alain Juppe held comprehensive talks during which an entire gamut of bilateral issues along with international and regional matters of mutual interest came up.

Juppe`s visit comes amid mounting concerns in India over nuclear safety and protests against the Russia-built Kudankulam nuclear plant besides the one to be built at Jaitapur.

The French minister, at a joint media interaction with Krishna, said he has briefed his Indian counterpart about stringent safety standards followed by French which is in the middle of discussions on building two 1,650 MW reactors in Jaitapur in Maharashtra.

"We discussed the issue of nuclear energy….We shared the view that nuclear energy is a vital source of power provided we develop the highest levels of safety rules.

"And we are working on this issue at the international level with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and at national level, of course.

"France is determined to be completely open with its Indian partners on the safety measures taken…This framework it will be possible to develop our cooperation especially to finalise agreement on EPR (European Pressurised Reactors) project….," Juppe said.

The two leaders also talked about global financial situation ahead of the G-20 summit of emerging and developed economies next month with France terming India as "key strategic member" which can play an important role in resolving the current crisis.

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