India offers small, mid-sized n-reactors for sale

Addressing the 54th General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna Wednesday, Atomic Energy Commission chairman Srikumar Banerjee said that the Indian PHWRs offer a basket of options for countries looking for cost-competitive and proven technologies in small and mid-sized reactors.

Accordingly, the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) is ready to offer PHWRs of 220 MWe or 540 MWe capacity for exports. “Indian industry is not only poised to make a bigger contribution to India’s own nuclear programme, but also is on the way to becoming a competitive supplier in the global market with regard to special steels, large-sized forgings, control instruments, software, other nuclear components and services,” Banerjee said.

In this context, he mentioned that India is in the process of setting up a Global Centre for Nuclear Energy Partnership, which would provide a forum for joint work with international partners in areas of topical interest. Banerjee added that the government had granted in-principle approval to five energy parks at five coastal sites in India.

“Each such park would be populated with a number of water-cooled reactors to be constructed through international co-operation,” he said. These would enable India expand its installed nuclear power capacity to about 60GWe by 2032, even as the global nuclear power generation is expected to touch 500 GWe by 2030.

“International cooperation will not only provide an additionality to India’s own programme in meeting immediate requirements but also fill up the energy deficit in the coming decades through the operation of the closed fuel cycle,” said Banerjee, who is the secretary of the Department of Atomic Energy and head of the Indian delegation at Vienna.

He pointed out that the global nuclear renaissance has been largely the result of maor investments by industry over the decades to enhance the safety aspects of nuclear energy. Recently, the Indian parliament passed the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Bill that which would go a long way in boosting public confidence and creating a predictable environment in which leading vendors can participate in India’s nuclear programme, Banerjee said.

Touching upon India’s nuclear power sector, he said that this year, it had achieved over 322 reactor years of safe operations. The total installed nuclear power capacity in the country now stands at 4,560MWe and the total number of operating reactors are 19, including two new 220MWe which were connected to the power grid last year.

Besides, en masse replacement of coolant channels and feeders were completed in the PWHRs at Kakrapar and Narora, and construction of Kaiga-4 PHWR has been completed and is ready for fuel loading, Banerjee said.

“While we reap the benefits today of the nuclear technology developed several decades ago, there is an urgent need to give a renewed thrust to take nuclear technology to greater heights for spreading its benefits to the entire humanity.  "In order to satisfy the growing energy needs of the world while caring for the environment, the Agency will need to further enhance its efforts towards new innovations and appropriate technology solutions,” Banerjee urged the gathering on the second day at the five-day conference.

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