India charts progress with overseas partners

05 January 2016

Commercial negotiations between Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) and Westinghouse on the construction of six AP1000 units at Mithi Virdi in India are on course to be finalized in 2016, the Indian cabinet has said. Separately, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin have welcomed progress towards identifying a new site for VVERs in India.

A statement issued by the cabinet on 30 December also noted its ratification of the administrative arrangements for the implementation of the India-Australia Civil Nuclear Cooperation Agreement that came into force on 13 November.

The Cabinet said that the administrative arrangement for the implementation of civil nuclear cooperation agreement between the USA and India have now been signed and "international and domestic concerns" over India's liability laws have been resolved with the 2015 establishment of the India Nuclear Insurance Pool.

Mithi Virdi, in the Bhavnagar district of Gujarat, is intended to host up to six AP1000s built in three stages. NPCIL commenced site works in 2012, and Westinghouse and NPCIL signed a preliminary commercial contract in September 2013.

Mithi Virdi is on a list of ten proposed sites for new nuclear power plants given in-principle approval by the Indian government in April 2015. The list included sites for indigenous pressurized heavy water reactors at Gorakhpur in Haryana's Fatehabad; Chutka and Bhimpur in Madhya Pradesh; Kaiga in Karnataka; and Mahi Banswara in Rajasthan, and plants with foreign cooperation at Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu (VVER); Jaitapur in Maharashtra (EPR); Kovvada in Andhra Pradesh (ESBWR) and Haripur in West Bengal (VVER).

Russian links

India and Russia signed 16 agreements during Modi's visit to Moscow on 24-25 December, which included those on the nuclear and defence sectors.

In a joint statement following their talks, Modi and Putin said that cooperation between the two countries on the peaceful uses of nuclear energy was a "cornerstone" of their strategic partnership.

Putin said that unit 2 of the Russian-built Kudankulam nuclear power plant in Tamil Nadu will be commissioned within weeks and that negotiations are at an advanced stage for units 3 and 4.

The statement added that the two leaders welcomed progress in identifying the second site in India for an additional six units. They agreed to work towards localisation of manufacturing in India under Modi's 'Make in India' program.

Modi said: "The pace of our cooperation in nuclear energy is increasing. We are making progress on our plans for 12 Russian nuclear reactors at two sites. The agreement today will increase Indian manufacturing content in these reactors. It supports my mission of Make in India. I thank President Putin for his support."

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News