New Delhi: France on Wednesday took a cautious approach to India's decision to set up a Rs 1500 crore insurance pool to offset nuclear liability of foreign suppliers, saying it would wait for the details to come out and then assess whether it "fits to our requirements".
"We have said that we would work within the framework of the Indian law. That was our stated position. We respect the Indian Parliament and people of India represented by its MPs. We would not challenge the sovereignty of India. We would not like others to do it to us.
"We do not know at this stage the details of this (India- US) arrangement... The insurance pool. All this is not completely out. So, we will wait for the full information to be made public. Then we will assess this way of implementing the law and see if it fits to our own requirement," a top French source said.
Sources also termed the 9900 MW Jaitapur nuclear, contract of which was bagged by French company Areva, of "important significance" to France and once it was finalised, then the partnership between both the countries will be for 40 years or more.
"When you partner in nuclear power plants, it's for 40 years or more depending on the life of equipment. That includes important element of Make In India. Large part of this nuclear reactor will be manufactured in India...
"... Both India and French side view it as a key element of the partnership. I am not going to say if I am optimistic or not optimistic. We are talking of one particular project and everybody knows what it is. Now technicians are working on the details," the source said.
Asked about how France views the recent Indo-US nuclear "breakthrough", the sources said what has been agreed upon during US President Barack Obama's visit is not a change of the law, instead it is a way to implement the law which is currently satisfactory to US side.
During Obama's recent visit here, India and the US had broken the seven-year-old logjam in operationalising their landmark civil nuclear agreement.
According to the Indian officials, the two sides resolved key policy hurdles pertaining to the liability of American suppliers of nuclear reactors in the event of an accident and the tracking of fuel supplied by the US and other countries for Indian nuclear plants.