Home > Power > Nuclear Power: Boon or Bane?

Nuclear Power: Boon or Bane?

Post the Indo-US Civilian Nuclear Agreement became operational in October 2008, India was all set to embark upon a nuclear power generation program to meet the burgeoning needs of the power-deficit country.

A number of nuclear plants were planned and one among them was the 9,900-mw plant at Jaitapur in Maharashtra by Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL). The proposed Jaitapur plant was to be developed by Areva of France after India signed nuclear agreements with France and Russia. While setting up of such plants was disputed by various stakeholders, signing of the nuclear agreement raised the prospects of the proposed plants. The ruling government in Maharashtra went all out to support setting up of the plant in spite of hurdles in acquiring land. However, all of it has come to a standstill now with earthquake-generated tsunami hitting nuclear power plants in Japan.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has called a high level conference to strengthen nuclear safety and emergency response to the Fukushima nuclear accident that took place in Japan.

The mere existence of such plants has now come under a cloud. This applies not only to India but to all existing and proposed nuclear plants world-over. We believe that the future plans of all the stakeholders of the nuclear power industry is disturbed. These include  the equipment manufacturers who may have planned capacity additions, the raw material suppliers, the EPC contracts and all the resources that were deployed. In India, a number of companies — including Larsen & Tubro and BHEL — are among those which had planned huge capacities. Both companies have also formed a series of JVs with NPCIL to manufacture components for nuclear power plants — for example, BHEL for steam turbine generators and L&T for special steel and ultra heavy forgings. These companies have signed co-operation agreements and are in negotiations with global companies to set up manufacturing base for nuclear power plant components.

Categories: Power
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