3 Indian Public Sector Undertakings to form joint venture for nuclear reactor export

Friday, October 24, 2008, 10:43 by Business Editor

Three Indian public sector companies have decided to set up a joint venture for the export of nuclear power reactors.

India is currently in a position to engage in nuclear energy commerce, and the three PSU majors would come together to set up nuke reactors in countries which require nuclear energy and reactors.

The three PSU companies’ joint venture will try to sell 220 MW nuclear reactors – a size that is in demand in several countries. Also, India already boasts of as many as 13 reactors of this class currently in operation and therefore has the experience in setting these up indigenously in India.

As per the decision, the Nuclear Power Corporation will join hands with Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) and the NTPC to set up a company by the end of the current year. India being the only country to have an actively working technology, design and infrastructure for the manufacture of commercially proven reactors of this size, the three PSU majors will look at export opportunities of India’s nuclear expertise in this arena.

The Indian government is in talks with nuclear suppliers in countries such as France, Russia and the United States as it would like to add up to 40,000 MW of nuclear capacity based on imported reactors.

Meanwhile, the Nuclear Power Corporation will also form yet another joint venture with NTPC to take up the task of setting up nuclear plants within the country with the larger, 1,000-1,600 MW imported reactors. The Nuclear Power Corporation built all the indigenous rectors in India on its own.

The Indo-US nuclear deal, meanwhile, has put Inda in the nuclear club putting an end to three years of nuclear isolation. Recently, US President George W Bush formally certifying to the US Congress that the 123 agreement with India is consistent with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Bush had certified hat as per the United States-India Nuclear Cooperation Approval and Nonproliferation Enhancement Act, “the entry into force and implementation of the United States-India Agreement for Cooperation on Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy pursuant to its terms is consistent with the obligation of the United States under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons not in any way to assist, encourage, or induce India to manufacture or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices”.

The US President also said that it was the policy of the US to work with members of the Nuclear Suppliers Group, individually and collectively, to agree to further restrict the transfers of equipment and technology related to the enrichment of uranium and reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel.

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