As EDF is engaged in intense discussions with NPCIL for the development and construction of the biggest nuclear plant in the world, with six EPR units totaling close to 10,000 MWe at the Jaitapur site, Maharashtra, India, EDF 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, I2EN and 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. Through this initiative, the three 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 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. Academic and industrial stakeholders will be involved to ensure that the specialized courses and modules delivered to the students, within and beyond standard curriculum, answer the specific requirements and practical needs of the Project. Inviting and involving the most knowledgeable academics, scientists and industrial experts, the Centre of Excellence will train engineers and technicians from Indian companies and suppliers which will be participating in the development of this EPR project in India.
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, the Project will power an equivalent of 70 million households, avoiding the emission of 80 million tons of CO2 per year.
Prof. Dhiren PATEL, Director, VJTI specified : “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.”
Dr. Henri SAFA, I2EN Director stated: “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.”
Mr. Vakis Ramany, EDF Group Senior Vice President in charge of New Nuclear Development commented: “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 very proud to partner with two major institutes such as VJTI and I2EN, and to contribute to strengthening further the long-standing Indo-French relationship in the fields of engineering and academia. 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”.
ABOUT ELECTRICITÉ DE FRANCE S.A (EDF)
A key player in energy transition, the EDF Group is an integrated electricity company, active in all areas of the business: generation, transmission, distribution, energy supply and trading, energy services. A global leader in low-carbon energies, the Group has developed a diversified generation mix based on nuclear power, hydropower, new renewable energies and thermal energy. The Group is involved in supplying energy and services to approximately 38.9 million customers, 28.8 million of which are in France. It generated consolidated sales of €71 billion in 2019. EDF is listed on the Paris Stock Exchange.
The Group is the world’s leading nuclear operator with 71 reactors in France and the UK and more than 2,000 reactor-years of experience in operation. EDF has been active in India for more than two decades and has been involved in a number of energy and environmental related initiatives, on hydro project, pumped storage plants, wind and solar farm, smart grids. On nuclear activities, EDF entered into exclusive negotiations with NPCIL in 2016 and is the lead negotiator for the implementation of 6 EPRs in Jaitapur, Maharashtra.
ABOUT INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE OF NUCLEAR ENERGY (I2EN)
I2EN represents and coordinates the French expertise in nuclear human capacity building (HCB) in France and abroad. I2EN is a consortium that brings together French nuclear stakeholders (industry, academia, and research) involved in education & training. The Institute was set up to be the single contact point for countries wishing to develop nuclear education and training programmes, training centres, and comprehensive systems to manage nuclear human resources over the whole lifetime of a programme. International partnerships include consulting and other education & training services.
ABOUT VEERMATA JIJABAI TECHNOLOGICAL INSTITUTE (VJTI)
Founded in 1887 as Victoria Jubilee Technical Institute, VJTI is one of the pioneers of the country’s engineering training, education and research ecosystem. VJTI has played a key role in industrial growth of earlier India and establishment of first five IITs. Currently, VJTI is an academically and administratively autonomous engineering institute located in Mumbai and owned by the Government of Maharashtra. The institute trains students in engineering and technology at the certificate, diploma, degree, post-graduate and doctoral levels as well as fosters cutting edge research in technologies for society.