State-owned Engineers India Ltd (EIL), which provides engineering and related technical services for industrial projects, plans to enter the nuclear business by constructing underground caverns to store nuclear waste and is likely to use the services of Swedish consultants SWECO and SKB International Consulting AB.
SWECO is a consultant to EIL for constructing an underground crude oil storage facility in Visakhapatnam awarded by Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves Ltd, which is overseeing the construction of proposed strategic oil storage depots.
“Even after main usage, radiation continues for the first 25 years and requires an intermediate storage and a final repository later,” said a senior EIL executive. “We have been in touch with the Department of Atomic Energy and plan to ask them for the preparation of preliminary feasibility report. For this exercise, we will need the help of SWECO as they are constructing such facilities in Sweden.”
“We may form a non-commercial tripartite agreement with SWECO and SKB once we get a go-ahead from department of atomic energy,” the EIL executive added.
Nuclear energy accounts for only 4,120MW out of India’s installed power generation capacity of at least 147,000MW. This is expected to change with India and the US having signed a historic nuclear deal last year. According to audit and consulting firm KPMG’s India Energy Outlook report, India’s department of atomic energy hopes to build 250,000MW of nuclear capacity by 2050.
“We are now looking at other opportunities with EIL. We plan to construct underground rock caverns with EIL for storing nuclear waste and tools. We see it as a logical extension,” said Gösta Ericson, country manager, India, for SWECO.