The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

India again tests a Nuclear-Capable Missile

India Completes Agni-I Nuclear-Capable Missile Test, defense World, November 27, 2015 India has test fired home-made nuclear capable Agni-I missile that can hit target from a distance of 700kms.

The missile was launched from off the Odisha coast as a part of Strategic Forces Command (SF) training centre, NDTV reported today.

The surface-to-surface, single-stage missile, was powered by solid propellants. It was test-fired from a mobile launcher at 1002 hours from launch pad-4 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Abdul Kalam Island (Wheeler Island)…….he missile, which has already been inducted into armed forces, weighs 12 tonnes. The 15-metre-long missile is designed to carry a payload of more than one tonne. Moreover, its strike range can be extended by reducing the payload…….

November 28, 2015 Posted by | India, weapons and war | Leave a comment

India’s PM Modi does a hollow, but quite toxic, nuclear deal with Britain

flag-indiaflag-UKModi’s nuclear deal with Britain is hollow, but quite toxic, catch news,   KUMAR SUNDARAM, 15 Nov 15  

The deal

  • Narendra Modi has just inked a nuclear deal with Britain
  • He called it symbol of “our resolve to combat climate change’
  • The deal comes when the British nuclear industry is in a crisis

The danger

  • Britain has little to offer India in terms of nuclear energy
  • It reinforces the myth that n-power is green, climate-friendly
  • India is missing the shift from n-power to renewable energy

More in the story

  • India is among the few nations on a nuclear shopping spree in the post-Fukushima world. Why?
  • Nuclear energy isn’t a solution to climate change. Why is the industry peddling this myth?

Keeping to the script, Modi has just announced a civilian nuclear agreement with Britain.

The pact is largely symbolic. But it’s dangerous.

Spent force

Britain has little to offer India when it comes to nuclear energy. Its nuclear industry is facing a terminal crisis. The two power plants planned in Hinkley Point have been plagued by escalating costs, forcing the investors to abandon the project, as well as serious design risks.

Britain’s new nuclear plants in Hinkley Point are plagued by escalating costs, serious design risks

Continue reading

November 16, 2015 Posted by | India, politics international, UK | Leave a comment

It seems that nobody will be liable for a nuclear disaster in India!

Modi,-Narendra-USAliability for foreign suppliers may now be entirely removed, not just diluted.

In his one and a half year in office, Modi hasn’t demonstrated any particular penchant for consistency, but this would be his most dangerous U-turn, imperilling millions of innocent Indian lives.

Who will be liable for an Indian Fukushima?  Nobody, it seems, Catch  News, KUMAR SUNDARAM@pksundaram|10 November 2015

 Whom do we sue?
  • India to entirely exempt foreign nuclear suppliers from liability – AEC said last week
  • Who will be responsible in case of an accident then?

What breakthrough!

  • There was a Indo-US breakthrough on N-liability – Modi last week
  • Can a complete exemption from liability be called a breakthrough?

Continue reading

November 13, 2015 Posted by | India, politics international, USA | Leave a comment

Highest cancer rate in Kerala, India, – (where natural radiation is high)

radiation-warningflag-indiaHighest rate of cancer cases in Kerala: Chief Minister Oommen Chandy
| Press Trust of India January 27, 2014 THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, KERALA:  In a shocking revelation, Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy today informed the state Assembly that the state has the highest number of cancer patients in the country.

Out of every one lakh males, 133 persons suffer from the disease while in the case of females, it is 123 for every one lakh females, he said while replying to a calling attention motion on the necessity to set up a cancer institute in Kochi.

As per statistics, nearly 50 per cent of cancer cases could be cured if the disease was identified in the initial stage itself and treatment started, Chandy said.

On the demand for a Cancer Institute, he said the cabinet had already decided to set up a Cancer Research Institute at the campus of Kochi Medical College hospital, which was taken over by the government from the co-operative sector……

November 9, 2015 Posted by | health, India, radiation | Leave a comment

India shuts down nuclear critic Greenpeace

civil-liberty-2smflag-indiaIndia orders Greenpeace to shut down  November 7, 2015 India has cancelled Greenpeace International’s license to operate and given the group 30 days to close down, citing financial fraud and falsification of data.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has turned the spotlight on foreign charities since he took office last year, accusing some of trying to hamper projects on social and environmental grounds.

Last year, Modi government withdrew permission to Greenpeace to receive foreign funding, saying the money was used to block industrial projects.

Under the latest order issued by authorities in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu where Greenpeace is registered, the government said it had found the organisation had violated the provisions of law by engaging in fraudulent dealings.

 Greenpeace denied any wrongdoing and said the closure was a “clumsy tactic” to silence dissent. “This is an extension of the deep intolerance for differing viewpoints that sections of this government seem to harbour,” Vinuta Gopal, the interim executive director of Greenpeace, said in a statement on Friday.

A government official confirmed the closure order had been issued on Wednesday but did not elaborate.

Greenpeace India has campaigned against coal mines in forests, genetically modified crops, nuclear power and toxic waste management.

In recent months the federal government has toughened rules governing charities and cancelled the registration of nearly 9000 groups for failing to declare details of overseas donations.

November 7, 2015 Posted by | civil liberties, India | Leave a comment

USA- India nuclear sales quietly fading, as nuclear financially unviable

the focus should now be on mainstreaming solar power, and, as assessed by Gateway House last week [12], its associated technological benefits such as electric vehicles, which can help bring down carbon dioxide emissions and help Prime Minister Modi meet his Oct 2 climate change commitments sooner rather than later.
Quiet burial for the nuclear deal? 5 NOVEMBER 2015, Gateway House  BY  

Solar power developers have offered to sell electricity in India at less than Rs 5/unit. This makes solar competitive with traditional forms of energy, and makes new nuclear power plants financially unviable. India must register the changed reality, and discard the idea of expensive Western reactors. Time to scrap the India-U.S. nuclear deal?

Hard on the heels of falling oil prices and affordable shale, comes another dramatic energy changes for the energy industry: The falling cost of solar energy. This has many implications, but the most immediate impact the nuclear power industry, large parts of which may have just become obsolete. This means that the new nuclear power plants being planned by India, especially those with foreign collaboration, must be reconsidered and scrapped if they are financially unviable.

Continue reading

November 6, 2015 Posted by | business and costs, India, politics international | Leave a comment

Record low price for solar power to be sold by Indian Government

sunflag-indiaIndian government plans to sell solar power at record low price of $0.07 per unit. News Forage, 13 Oct 15,  India’s strategy of a foreign currency-denominated tariff plan for solar energy is aimed at providing solar power at a new low of Rs.4.75 per unit to the states. Continue reading

October 14, 2015 Posted by | India, renewable | 1 Comment

A nuclear power plant project in India is stalled

Nalco’s foray into nuclear energy hits legal roadblock Proposed Rs 12,000-cr nuclear energy plant in a JV with Nuclear Power Corporation in limbo  Business Standard, India, Dilip Satapathy  |  Bhubaneswar October 9, 2015 National Aluminium Company (Nalco)’s plan to foray intonuclear energy generation has hit a legal roadblock.

Though the aluminium major proposed to set up a Rs 12,000 crore nuclear energy plant in joint venture withNuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL), it is unable to go ahead with the project with the present act restricting the sector to only a couple of its own fully owned subsidiaries under the Atomic Energy Department…….

Though NPCIL is keen to involve other public sector firms like Nalco, IOCL and NTPC, with whom it has signed MoUs, for setting up of nuclear power plants in a bid to expand its nuclear power footprint in the country, the present act does not allow this.

The Atomic Energy Act, framed in 1962, also prohibits private control of nuclear power generation though it allows them minority investment……….Apart from the fuel supply issue and protests over establishment of nuclear power plants, changes in the act to allow JVs formed by NPCIL with other PSUs to make them workable is another hurdle, the India government has to take care if the country wants to achieve 20 GWe nuclear energy capacity by 2020, sources said.

Besides nuclear energy, the aluminium major has identified renewable energy as its next focused area.

“We have set up wind mills in Andhra Pradesh (50.4 Mw) and Jaisalmer (47.6 Mw) in Rajasthan. We plan to set up solar plants in Rajasthan and Maharashtra (50 Mw each) and Madhya Pradesh (20 Mw). We are also in the processing of installing a 14 Mw wind power mill at Damanjodi,” Chand said.

October 10, 2015 Posted by | business and costs, India | Leave a comment

As Areva Goes Belly Up, Modi’s French Nuclear Plans May Start Unravelling

nuke-ship-sinkingWhy is India bent on joining the sinking French nuclear ship?,, Vaiju Naravane | The Wire, 24 July 15 

The ink had yet to dry on two separate agreements signed by France’s Areva with Larsen & Toubro and the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited for the French-designed 1650 MWe EPR reactor in Jaitapur, Maharashtra, when the French nuclear giant went into meltdown.

The agreements were signed with great fanfare during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to France on 10th April 2015 despite the fact that question marks on Areva’s future as a viable nuclear player had been piling up thick and fast.

In May, mere weeks after Modi’s visit, Areva announced colossal losses amounting to 4.8 billion euros (well above its capital base) and in June the French government, which owns 87% of the company, announced that Areva would be broken up, with its nuclear power arm, Areva NP, (including engineering, construction and design) being sold to another French energy giant, EDF. The French state has an 84.5% stake in EDF.

Politically driven

Why then did India persist in signing MoUs with a sinking ship? Surely Indian decision-makers were not unaware of Areva’s problems? And why is India insisting on buying nuclear technology that may be quietly buried in the near future, technology that has trebled in cost while providing no proof of performance, cost or economics of operation so far? What will be the fate of the agreements signed between Areva and L&T and Areva and NPCIL? Will they be automatically transferred to EDF and if so at what price?

Could India not have waited for clarity over Areva’s future instead of rushing into signing agreements with a company on the verge of dismemberment? Or is it that the MoUs were hurriedly pushed through so that Modi would have a big ticket announcement to make during his first European tour?……..

The hurry to enter into these agreements is baffling since it is unclear what the long-term future of the expensive flagship EPR will be once EDF takes full charge of Areva. Energy experts say the EPR’s design issues and costs dragged down Areva and EDF is unlikely to want a similar  fate for itself……….

July 25, 2015 Posted by | India, politics international | Leave a comment

India’s Mayapuri residents concerned about ionising radiation in scrap machinery

Mayapuri haunted by radiation fears of 2010, Mohit Sharma, Hindustan Times, New Delhi Jul 21, 2015 

Fear of a radiation leak is haunting businessmen and residents of Mayapuri, who claim that that authorities have failed to keep a check on the large scale dismantling of machines that go on in the area.


RK Gupta, the general secretary of the Mayapuri-Rewariline industrial welfare association says that while the content of scrap, vehicles and other items brought for dismantling are dubious and remain unverified, open dismantling of machines poses the danger of a repeat of radiation incident that occurred in the area five years ago………

July 22, 2015 Posted by | environment, India | Leave a comment

Japan will now allow India to reprocess spent nuclear fuel from Japanese-made reactors

Japan eases fuel rules for India nuclear deal, Japan Times  KYODO, JUN 19, 2015 Japan has given in to India’s demand that it be allowed to reprocess spent nuclear fuel from Japanese-made reactors, negotiation sources said, marking a major shift in Japan’s stance against proliferation.

India, a nuclear power that conducted its first weapons test in 1974 using reprocessed plutonium, has not joined the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Japan has been seeking measures to guarantee India will not divert extracted plutonium — which could be used to build nuclear weapons — for military use, but no agreement has been reached on the issue, the sources said Thursday…..

June 20, 2015 Posted by | India, Japan, politics international, reprocessing | Leave a comment

India’s new nuclear insurance pool will not cover its research reactors

flag-indiaIndia’s research reactors not under nuclear insurance pool By IANS | Jun 18, 2015 Chennai: India’s research reactors will not be covered under the newly set-up nuclear insurance pool as they are owned by the union government, a top official of the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) has said.

“The Rs.1,500 crore ($234 million) India Nuclear Insurance Pool is mainly for power plants operated by Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL). The reactors operated by research institutions do not come under the insurance pool,” BARC director Sekhar Basu told IANS. Basu is also a member of the Atomic Energy Commission and a director in NPCIL.

“The research reactors are very small. Further the research institutions are owned by the central government. And governments do not generally take out an insurance policy on its properties,” Basu added.

BARC’s two operational test reactors are the 100 MW and a very low-power Advanced Heavy Water Reactor (AHWR).

Basu said what is applicable to BARC applies equally to the research reactors operated by the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR) at Kalpakkam, around 80 km from here.

The IGCAR operates two small research reactors – fast breeder test reactor (FBTR) and Kamini.

According to Basu, the upcoming 500 MW prototype fast breeder reactor (PFBR) expected to go on stream this year would come under the insurance cover once it starts the nuclear fission process.

The government-owned Bharatiya Nabhikiya Vidyut Nigam Ltd (BHAVINI) is setting up the country’s first indigenously designed 500 MW PFBR at Kalpakkam.

A breeder reactor is one that breeds more material for a nuclear fission reaction than it consumes. The PFBR will be fuelled by a blend of plutonium and uranium oxide, called MOX fuel.

The central government recently announced the setting up of the Rs.1,500-crore India Nuclear Insurance Pool to be managed by national reinsurer GIC Re.

The GIC Re, four government-owned general insurers and also some private general insurers have provided the capacity to insure the risks to the tune of around Rs.1,000 crore and the balance Rs.500 crore capacity has been obtained from the British Nuclear Insurance Pool.

The losses or profits in the pool would be shared by the insurers in the ratio of their agreed risk capacity.

Foreign nuclear plant suppliers were reluctant to sell their plants to India citing the provisions of Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Act (CLND) 2010 that provides the right of recourse to NPCIL against the vendors under certain circumstances for compensation in case of an accident.

The insurance pool was formed as a risk transfer mode for the suppliers and also NPCIL.

All the 21 operating nuclear power plants in India owned and operated by NPCIL are expected to come under public liability insurance cover from next month onwards, a senior official of New India Assurance Company Ltd told IANS, preferring anonymity.

The insurance cover would also extend to the 1,000 MW nuclear power plant at Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu built with Russian equipment.

“We are planning to issue a single policy covering all the 21 nuclear power units of NPCIL including the one in Kudankulam. The premium will be paid by NPCIL and the policy will be issued in its name,” he said.

According to him, the final premium has not been arrived at but it will be between Rs.100 crore and Rs.150 crore.

He said the proposed policy would cover the liability towards public as a consequence of any nuclear accident in the plants covered under the policy and also the right of recourse of NPCIL against the equipment suppliers.

June 19, 2015 Posted by | business and costs, India, politics | Leave a comment

Rs 1,500 crore insurance pool for nuclear liability, India

India launches Rs 1,500 crore insurance pool for nuclear liability, 14 June 2015 New Delhi | Agency: dna  The government has finally launched an insurance pool of Rs. 1,500 crore, a mandatory requirement under the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Act by filling in the gap of Rs 500 crore through the British Nuclear Insurance Pool.

Several held up projects such as the long-pending Gorakhpur Haryana Anu Vidyut Pariyojna (GHAVP) are now expected to move forward after setting up of the insurance pool.

Clauses in the CLND Act, which give the operator the Right to Recourse and allow it to sue the suppliers in case of any accident, were seen as being a major hindrance to the growth of the nuclear industry. These concerns led to the formation of the Indian nuclear insurance pool……..

India’s stated requirement that no inspector will be allowed to inspect our plants will be fully met, said union minister of state (Independent Charge) Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh.

He assured that the government is not contemplating any alterations in the Nuclear Liability Act (passed in 2010 during UPA-II tenure) in any manner………..

June 15, 2015 Posted by | India, politics | Leave a comment

India bans entrance of Greenpeace member

India barred activist from entry: Greenpeace , Arab News 9 June 15 NEW DELHI: Greenpeace said Monday an Australian staff member had been barred from entering India despite holding a valid visa, in what it said was the latest crackdown against the group.
Aaron Gray-Block was on his way to meetings in India when immigration officials stopped him at Bangalore airport on Saturday night and put him on a flight to Kuala Lumpur without explanation, the campaign group said.
His passport was seized and only returned to him once he had landed in the Malaysian capital, the environmental group said in a statement.
“Our colleague has a valid business visa, and yet he was prevented from entering India with no reason given,” Divya Raghunandan, program director of Greenpeace India, said.
“We are forced to wonder if all international staff of Greenpeace will now be prevented from entering the country?“
Local media reports cited unnamed home ministry sources saying Gray-Block was denied entry because his name figured in an official ‘black list’.

But the activist said he had “not received any communication” from the government of being placed on such a list, demanding “an explanation to this.”
“I arrived at Bangalore Airport with a valid business visa issued by the Indian embassy in Australia… Any suggestion of wrongdoing is a farce and a smear,” Gray-Block said in a statement late Monday.
“There is no reason for me to be included in any blacklist,” he added……

In April the right-wing government withdrew the group’s foreign funding license, citing violations of rules by opening accounts for foreign donations without informing authorities.
A court last month ordered authorities to unfreeze some of Greenpeace’s accounts, handing the group a lifeline after it faced closure of its local operations.
Greenpeace has accused the government of waging a “malicious campaign” against it. Authorities prevented one of its campaigners in January from leaving Delhi after she was placed on a suspicious persons list. According to Indian media, a secret report by the main intelligence agency recently warned that delays to key development projects being sought by Greenpeace and other activist groups could knock up to three percentage points off India’s annual growth rate.

Greenpeace has been at loggerheads with the government over claims of environmental damage caused by India’s heavy reliance on coal and the impact of deforestation and nuclear projects.

June 10, 2015 Posted by | civil liberties, India | Leave a comment

Nothing happening in much vaunted nuclear deal between USA and India

Buy-US-nukesflag-indiaLittle progress on nuclear deal after ‘breakthrough’ NARAYAN LAKSHMAN 29 May 15 More than four months after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and U.S. President Barack Obama announced a “breakthrough understanding” to resolve a long-standing impasse in the bilateral civil nuclear energy agreement, forward movement has apparently ground to a standstill and neither the government nor the private sector here  held out hope for a speedy resolution.

Responding to queries from The Hindu this week a State Department spokesperson said that there was “nothing new to announce on the civil nuclear deal at this time.”

Even as early as February, a top State Department official, Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Nisha Biswal, indicated that there may not be much more that the two governments could do to smooth the path for U.S. corporations to supply India with nuclear reactors. Ms. Biswal said that while Washington was “still in the process of taking what [India’s latest] top-line commitments were and trading paper to be able to find the more detailed understandings,” for the U.S. resolution of this “lingering challenge” hinged on the convergence between India’s 2010 Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Act (CLND) and the 1963 CSC.

She emphasised that with the “breakthrough understanding” reached in January, “now it will be up to the companies to assess for themselves the business case scenarios and make their own decisions based on the commercial aspects – how to move forward.”

“Nothing happening” Continue reading

May 30, 2015 Posted by | India, marketing, politics international, USA | Leave a comment


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