Top executives of top nuclear power companies from the US will congregate in New Delhi on Monday to firm up strategic tie-ups with Indian counterparts to set up nuclear plants in India. At stake are plants that could generate 12,000 mega watt electric (mwe) — 1 mwe can light up 10,000 light bulbs of 100 watts each — on a potential investment of
Rs 100,000 crore.
Led by global nuclear equipment leaders GE and Westinghouse Electric, these business-to-business meetings follow Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Washington DC last month and the likelihood of India moving a nuclear liability legislation bill that will enable private nuclear companies from the US to invest in India nuclear sector.
Apart from the Big 2, the delegation includes Babcock & Wilcox, Bechtel, CH2MHill, Curtiss-Wright, Cameco, Converdyn, and USEC. On the Indian side, they will meet top executives from Larsen and Toubro, BHEL, NTPC and Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL).
This 12,000 mwe is part of the proposed 32,000 mwe that the Indian government has already announced, with technical collaboration from US, French and Russian companies.
Of the five sites that have been given an ‘in-principle’ approval by Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) in October 2009, two —Chhayamithi Virdi (Gujarat) and Kovvada (Andhra Pradesh) — will be using US technology.
Organised by CII and the US International Business Council, the delegation will also discuss various regulatory issues — notably India’s proposed nuclear liability legislation that will allow US companies invest in India.
The Indo-US nuclear relationship at the business level would begin with a pair of nuclear reactors (of 1,000 mwe). “This will be followed up with installation of additional reactors at the same site after the work on the first two reactors tapers off,” a senior DAE official told Hindustan Times.
India plans to source 28 light water reactors (LWRs) of which 12 will be sourced from the US, 10 from Russia and six from France. Five sites for nuclear power plants based on these LWRs have been identified at Chhayamithi Virdi (Gujarat), Kovvada (Andhra Pradesh), Kundakulam (Tamil Nadu), Haripur (West Bengal) and Jaitpur (Maharashtra).