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Three Indian PSUs to Set Up JV to Export 220-mw N-Power Plants

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

The Minister of State for Commerce, Industry and Power Jairam Ramesh said recently in a newspaper interview that a number of countries with small electricity grids were open to India setting up nuclear power reactors that generate 220 MW of electricity, the size that has been the norm in the indigenous programme.

India has 13 reactors of this class currently in operation, and is perhaps the only country to have an actively working technology, design and infrastructure for the manufacture of commercially proven reactors of this size.

With India now free to engage in nuclear energy commerce, the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) is joining hands with Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) and National Thermal Power Corporation Ltd  (NTPC) to set up a company by the end of this year that will pursue export opportunities for the expertise that India has developed in over three decades of nuclear isolation.

At the same time, Ramesh said, the Nuclear Power Corporation, which has built all the indigenous rectors on its own, will form 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 Government has already announced it would add up to 40,000 MW of nuclear capacity based on imported reactors, and talks are on with suppliers in France, Russia and the US.