The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

India’s nuclear power program could be called off, may be unaffordable

scrutiny-on-costsCost of nuclear power proving high, DAE in a fix  PTI | Dec 25, 2013, NEW DELHI: As the cost of electricity generation by nuclear power plants, to be set up with the help of French and American companies, is turning out to be on the higher side, the department of atomic energy is in a fix over how to bring down the cost.

flag-indiaOn one hand, it is involved in hard negotiations with the companies and on the other hand, sources said, if the cost per unit turns out to be too expensive, then it may not even pursue the project with collaborators

The estimated cost by the DAE for Jaitapur Nuclear Power Plant (JNPP) in Maharashtrais around Rs 9 per unit while the cost for Mithi Virdhi Nuclear Power Project is around Rs 12 per unit.

Currently, the DAE is in negotiations with French company Areva to build six EPR reactors of 1650 MW each at Jaitapur.  Sources pointed out that initial estimates state the cost of the project to be around Rs 27-30 crore per megawatt and the cost per unit to be around Rs 9 per unit in 2021.  Speaking to reporters in Mumbai last month, RK Sinha, DAE secretary, had said a competitive per unit tariff of Rs 6.50 has been estimated in the year of completion of Jaitapur project in 2020-21.

In the case of Mithi Virdhi project where American company Westinghouse Electric is providing AP-1000 reactors, the cost per megawatt is coming to around Rs 40 crores while the cost per unit is around Rs 12.

Although this project is yet to reach the advanced negotiations stage, the DAE has already signed an early works agreement with Westinghouse Electric.  The DAE is skeptical about the proposal due to its high cost.  It states that the cost per unit from the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP) unit 1 and 2 is around Rs 3.50 to Rs 4 per unit.

“If we take inflation into consideration, even then the cost is very high. We are also answerable to people. Plus, there is a lot of opposition to nuclear projects where we have foreign collaborators.  If nothing works out, then we will, perhaps, have to back out because of the high electricity generation cost from the project,” a senior DAE official said.

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December 26, 2013 - Posted by | business and costs, India


  1. The nuclear deal with India by other states costs higher than the other alternatives. The nuclear power plants production cost ranges from 9 to 12 rupees per unit. This cost is equivalent or even more than other alternatives of energy production. Hence, it is the need of time to review the nuclear energy plans which are not suitable for India.

    Comment by Aazar Kund | December 27, 2013 | Reply

  2. The issue of high cost is much suspected and long awaited since its start. The reason is this blind speedily development of nuclear power projects. Our country is just obsessed with the world wide trends of nuclear energy and satisfies itself by poor planning of so many plants. Now they are thinking about the cost managements and the whole thing is going to draw on poor people in shape of more taxes and inflation. People are living below the poverty line what is their fault in high cost of nuclear power plants. It is India’s state men ambitions which made the whole nation to suffer.

    Comment by Vidya | December 27, 2013 | Reply

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