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Japanese Restrictions Could Threaten French Reactor Sale to India

Japanese restrictions on atomic trade with India could complicate plans for France to construct a new atomic power facility in the South Asian state, the head of the French nuclear firm Areva said yesterday (see GSN, March 13, 2008).

The company's design for the planned two-reactor atomic plant at Jaitapur calls for the use of "extra large forgings" available only from Japan, the Times of India quoted a diplomatic source as saying.

Areva chief operating officer Luc Orsel said the firm could find ways around the complication. However, he still urged India to conclude "a bilateral agreement" with Japan on civilian nuclear trade (see GSN, Nov. 15, 2010)

New Delhi and Tokyo have conducted multiple rounds of talks on a potential atomic trade deal. Japan, though, is said to have mandated Indian nonproliferation assurances considered more substantive than what the nuclear-armed South Asian nation accepted in its 2008 atomic trade deal with the United States. Tokyo wants India to sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, according to previous reports.

Japan has also called on New Delhi to join the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, according to the Times (Ashis Ray, Times of India, Jan. 12).

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