India talking to France, US on nuclear programmes
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Last Updated: Wednesday, January 11, 2012, 19:37
Chennai: India is in the process of holding technical level discussions with France and the US for its civil nuclear programmes, a senior Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) official said on Wednesday.

"We are also talking to the French right now. The French regulators' report post Fukushima has come just a couple of days back, and we are studying it. Thereafter, we will again have a detailed technical discussion with the French vendors and we wish to go for that reactor, that is offering 1650 MW from one unit, a very large capacity," Shiv Abhilash Bhardwaj, Director (Technical), NPCIL told reporters.

As for the US collaboration, he said, "In the next plan, what we propose is that we will make eight units of 700 MW each and eight units of light water reactors, which includes four reactors of United States technology (two each, with two vendors from the US). We are talking to them on technical level."

Strongly believing in the nuclear option to cater its energy needs of the country, the Centre has already approved plant proposals in many states, he said.

"Government has approved two locations in Madhya Pradesh, one each in Haryana, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and West Bengal...Right now, we are looking at Haryana and Madhya Pradesh, where two sites have been offered. And we hope that within this year, we should be able to start work there. So there will be four units of 700 MW," he said.

Bhabha Atomic Reseach Centre was carrying out a research on effects of the mild radiation and mild temperature of the nuclear waste on hard rocks over which they were stored, he said, replying to a query on the storing of nuclear waste.

Talking of the country's first Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR), being built in Kalpakkam, Bhardwaj said commissioning of the plant will take around two years.

"The construction will be completed between March and June and then the commissioning starts. But, we must realise that we are leading the world in this. So, we have to go every step very cautiously. So, the commissioning time is going to be very long for this...I would say, two years or so. It is going to be a long drawn process, as far as the commissioning of the first unit," he said.

Once the country's first PFBR starts working, the government has plans to open two more units of fast breeders in the country.

"We will have two more plants in the next 12th plan, which starts from this April, but we have to be cautious that this plan is working. The real work for those two reactors once this first reactor is commissioned. That is after two years from now."

Asked about the delay in some of their projects, he said, "the projects are getting delayed because of acquiring land.

Government land acquiring policy and resettlement & rehabilitation policy is in the Parliament. So, unless that is settled down, the state governments and others are waiting to know what is the final procedure. I would say, that is holding us back."


First Published: Wednesday, January 11, 2012, 19:37

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